LONDON: Animation has the potential to make difficult subject matter understandable to consumers, but relatively few organisations use it in their marketing content on digital channels and even fewer do it well, a new report says.

Gorilla Gorilla!, a London-based film and animation company, analysed the use of animated content on the digital channels of 220 of the UK's biggest brands and companies for its Awesome Animation study and found that only 33% of those organisations surveyed were using any form of animated content and concluded that of those that were, less than a third were doing it well.

It judged the content against five best-practice criteria – design, execution, narrative idea / script quality, memorability / emotional connection and brand consistency – each of which carried a maximum of 20 points.

But only 10% of the companies surveyed scored 60% or more. Google claimed the top spot with a 92% score, ten points more than its nearest rival.

Of the 1,773 films Google has posted on YouTube over the past nine years, Gorilla Gorilla! noted that animation accounted for 25% of its top 20 viewed films even though animated content makes up only around 5% of the brand's total film content – "a prime example of animation punching above its weight", it said.

"The majority of Google's content on You Tube is live action – and yet it's the animations that both stand out and grab your attention," said Dean Beswick, creative partner at Gorilla Gorilla!

"From simple explainers to more emotive peopleā€led animated stories they employ a consistent tone of voice – managing to balance a light-hearted touch with often detailed or complex subject matter."

The study noted that FTSE 100 companies generally performed poorly with regards to animation, but Aberdeen Asset Management, at fourth in the list, was an exception.

"You can distill really complex messages, and make them not only digestible, but also entertaining and memorable," explained James Whiteman, Head of Investment Communications, Aberdeen Asset Management. "Animation, done well, draws people in."

And for an investment management group it also offers a way to give people "a glimpse of your brand personality", he said.

"As product offerings become increasingly commoditised, customers really want to understand the essence of who's behind the product and what makes them tick."

Data sourced from Gorilla Gorilla!; additional content by Warc staff