NEW YORK: Despite reports that short-form video works well in an era of declining attention spans, it appears a number of major brands see longer animated ads as the way to stand out.

Taco Bell, for example, has registered more than one million views on YouTube for its 100-second “Glen and the Magic Taco” ad, an animated video that tells the origin story of National Taco Day on October 4.

As reported by Adweek, the video also seeks to honour Glen Bell, founder of the quick service restaurant chain, in a way that feels authentic – and for Tracee Larocca, Taco Bell’s SVP of Advertising and Brand Engagement, animation provided the necessary flexibility.

“The uniqueness of using animation allows you more leeway in how you tell the story in a way that connects with people,” she said, adding that Taco Bell’s original idea of a one-hour, holiday-style, special would have taken too long to produce.

Toothpaste brand Hello also used an animated video ad to promote the natural ingredients in its products and it has scored 1.6m views on YouTube since its launch in April.

“[Animation] has the ability to make a bigger, bolder creative leap in terms of storytelling for any brand that wants to embrace it as a tool,” said Matt Murphy, Executive Creative Director at 72andSunny, the agency behind the Hello campaign.

“If we just put an actor in front of the camera to talk to you for 90 seconds about toothpaste, I don’t think it would have worked as well as having an animated tooth,” he added.

KFC is another leading brand that adopted the format for its “Big Chicken, Small Movie” ad that depicts the adventures of a young boy with KFC’s iconic, 56-foot tall hen that rises above one of its branches in Marietta, Georgia.

“Animation let us anthropomorphise this sharp, metal and potentially terrifying iron statue into a slightly more appropriate friend, and gave them [the chicken and a boy] the freedom to travel around the state having adventures that would have looked almost ghoulish in live action,” said Jason Kreher, Creative Director at Wieden+Kennedy.

Sourced from Adweek; additional content by WARC staff