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Animated Video Ads vs Live-Action Video Ads: Which is Best for Video Advertising?

Animated Video Ads vs Live-Action Video Ads: Which is Best for Video Advertising?

We're sure no advertiser wanna create a non-effecting video ad that gives no result. In a world, where an average person faces thousands of ads every day, making your video ad memorable becomes a necessity for every advertiser or business. 

But how do you choose the right type of video for your brand and message? 

Should you go for animated video ads or live-action video ads?

Let's find out in this guide which compares both animated ads & live-action video ads based on their strengths & weaknesses along with how to influence the human brain.

The Difference Between Animated Video Ads & Live-Action Video Ads

Both video ads have advantages and disadvantages, depending on your goals, budget, and audience. Let's compare animated video ads and live-action video ads, and help you decide which one is best for your video advertising campaign.

Animated Video Ads

Animated video ads are videos that use animation techniques to create characters, objects, and environments. They can be 2D or 3D, and they can range from simple motion graphics to complex CGI effects. Animated video ads are often used to explain complex concepts, showcase products or services, or tell stories.

Animated characters have the potential to evoke strong responses. The brain's limbic system, responsible for emotions, can be particularly responsive to animated characters' exaggerated expressions and movements. Moreover, animated ads may leverage nostalgia, invoking positive emotions tied to childhood associations. This taps into the brain's memory and emotional centers, creating a deeper connection with the content.

One of the main benefits of animated video ads is that they can capture the attention and imagination of the viewers. Animation can create a unique and memorable visual style, and convey emotions and messages that may not be possible with live-action. Animation does not require hiring actors, locations, or equipment, and it can be easily edited or updated.

When to Use Animated Video Ads?

You should use animated video ads when you want to:

  • Explain a complex or technical concept, product, or service

  • Create a unique and memorable visual style for your brand

  • Appeal to a wide range of audiences, especially younger ones

  • Simplify and illustrate your message and value proposition

  • Save time and money on video production and editing

Pros & Cons of Animated Video Ads

Pros of Animated Ads

Cons of Animated Ads

Easy to modify and update content.

Limited in conveying realistic human emotions or interactions.

Allows for creative and visually engaging content.

May be perceived as less authentic compared to live-action ads

Often more cost-effective than live-action production

High-quality animation can be expensive

Effective for explaining complex concepts or processes

May struggle to convey detailed information in a short time

Eye-catching visuals can capture the viewer's attention

Some viewers may find animated ads childish

Generally quicker turnaround compared to live-action

It requires careful planning and execution for polished results

Live-Action Video Ads

Live-action video ads are videos that use real people, places, and things. They can be filmed with a camera or a smartphone, and they can be edited with various tools and effects. Live-action video ads are often used to demonstrate real-life scenarios, showcase testimonials or reviews, or create emotional connections.

The brain is evolutionarily wired to prioritize social information, and live-action ads tap into this by featuring relatable human faces and genuine interactions. This authenticity often leads to increased trust, as the brain interprets real people and situations as more credible. Additionally, the brain's fusiform face area, responsible for facial recognition, plays a role in heightened attention and emotional response when presented with real faces.

One of the main benefits of live-action video ads is that they can convey realism and authenticity. Live-action can also showcase the human side of a brand, and build trust and credibility with the viewers. Live-action can use storytelling, humor, drama, or suspense to capture the interest and empathy of the viewers. Live-action can also use social proof, such as customer reviews or influencer endorsements, to persuade and influence the viewers.

When to Use Live-Action Video Ads?

You should use live-action video ads when you want to:

  • Show the real features and benefits of your product or service

  • Showcase the human side of your brand and its values

  • Appeal to the emotions and values of your audience

  • Use social proof, such as testimonials or reviews, to persuade and influence your audience

  • Create a realistic and authentic impression of your brand

Pros & Cons of Live-Action Video Ads

Pros of Live-Action Ads

Cons of Live-Action Ads

Provides a realistic portrayal of products or services

Limited in portraying fantastical or complex scenarios

Builds trust through the use of real people and settings

Can be perceived as less creative or visually dynamic compared to animation

Suitable for a wide range of industries and products

Production costs can be high, especially with professional actors and locations

People tend to remember faces and real-life situations more easily

May lack the novelty that animated ads can provide

Conveys a sense of authenticity and real human connection

May require skilled actors and a convincing storyline to appear authentic

Which One is Better for Video Advertising?

The honest answer is: it depends.

As both types of video ads have their strengths and weaknesses, and they can suit different goals, budgets, and audiences. The best way to decide which one is better for you is to consider the following factors:

  • Your brand identity and tone: What is the personality and voice of your brand? How do you want to communicate with your audience? Do you want to be more formal or informal, more serious or playful, more professional or casual?

  • Your message and value proposition: What is the main point that you want to convey to your audience? What is the problem that you are solving or the need that you are fulfilling? How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

  • Your target audience and market: Who are you trying to reach and influence with your video ads? What are their demographics, preferences, and behaviors? What are their pain points, challenges, and goals? How do they consume and respond to video content?

  • Your budget and resources: How much money and time do you have to invest in your video ads? What kind of skills and tools do you have or need to create your video ads? How often do you need to update or change your video ads?

Based on these factors, you can choose the type of video ad that best matches your needs and objectives. 

For example, if you are a B2B company that offers a complex or technical solution, you may want to use animated video ads to explain your product or service simply and engagingly. If you are a B2C company that sells a lifestyle or emotional product, you may want to use live-action video ads to showcase real-life scenarios and testimonials that resonate with your audience.

How “Wow Animation” Can Make Your Video Advertising Stand Out in the Crowd?

“Wow Animation” is not just a company that provides video advertising services but we’re learners who deeply understand how your audience’s brain processes information and creates 2D animated video ads specifically tailored for your brand that makes your people stop their scrolls. 

  • We utilize colors strategically, tapping into the psychology of color to evoke specific emotions and enhance visual appeal.

  • We understand the art of storytelling, using pacing techniques that align with human attention spans and keep viewers engaged throughout the animated journey.

  • By incorporating elements that trigger emotional responses, we ensure that your message goes beyond information, creating a memorable and resonant experience.

  • Every frame is crafted with precision, considering visual cues that guide the viewer's attention and enhance the overall impact of the animated ad.

  • With insights from neuroscience, we align motion, visuals, and storytelling to connect with the viewer at a cognitive level, leaving a lasting impression.

  • Wow Animation doesn't just create ads; we craft a distinctive visual identity for your brand, ensuring that your business stands out in the competitive landscape of video advertising.

Don’t forget to check out videos that we’ve created for our clients here.


Video advertising is a powerful and effective way to reach and engage your target audience. However, choosing the right type of video for your brand and message can be challenging. Should you use animated video ads or live-action video ads? Ultimately, the best type of video ad for you depends on your goals, objectives, and preferences. You can use a combination of both types of video ads to create a more diverse and engaging video marketing strategy. The most important thing is to know your audience and what they want to see and hear from you. 

If you need help with creating high-quality and professional video ads for your business, you can contact us at Wow Animation. This leading 2D animation video production company specializes in animated video ads. We can help you with every aspect of your video advertising campaign, from scriptwriting and storyboarding to animation and editing. Schedule a free consultation with us now to learn more.



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