Commission business animation production
How to write an animation brief
Jon Draper - CREATIVE DIRECTOR
This article explains how to write an animation project brief for your business in minutes. Ready for you to create and share a PDF and contact animation studios to get quotes and commission animated video projects.
Create a downloadable PDF to share with our studio and others in minutes.
9 Steps: How to write an animation brief
A brief guide on how to write a concise animation brief
- Use our animation brief template to create a PDF. Or make the doc yourself.
- Share the business goals for the project and describe the target audience.
- Write an overview which includes the subject and preferred style of animation.
- Include an estimated video length, plus number of videos.
- Mention any target deadlines for the production to be completed.
- Share video and web URLs with animation style examples and/or subject.
- Consider giving a rough indication of the sort of budget available.
- Mention extra services needed outside of pure animation. i.e. script writing.
- Send your brief to a select few animation studios and await a response.
Writing an animation brief
An effective animation brief contains the project scope with the subject, style, length, deadline, target audience and objectives explained concisely. When done well it allows studios to easily respond with quotes and production schedules.
Achieve this by writing a succinct and clear animation brief.
Whether they're a large agency, small studio or freelance animator, initially sending a short brief allows you to gauge which companies are interested in a project and their availability and get an indication of production costs.
Below we share the essential things to include in your animation brief to ensure you get the animated marketing/explainer video you want for your business.
You can write the doc using your preferred software or use our unique animation brief PDF creator to create and download a non-branded, succinct animation brief PDF in minutes.
What's the animation for?
Use the animation brief to tell the producers the video's objective.
You may be trying to attract new customers and clients to increase sales. Or have a suite of new high-quality videos to share and raise brand awareness with a targetted audience.
You might want to explain a new product or service with great-looking animated explainers. Or use animation to create clear and compelling internal training videos or to captivate and entertain an audience for an upcoming event.
Whatever the objective, understanding and sharing your project's aim allows producers to share relevant examples of work and have your goals in mind from the start.
What's the animation about?
Of course, you'll need to detail what the animation will be about.
Try keeping this to a short overview for now. There will be time to go into finer details in future meetings or once you've selected the studio you want to work with.
Include the type of narrative, product, service or training you want to cover. Touch on any particularly unique aspects of the subject.
If one exists, include a link to a related webpage that may also help reflect the brand.
By sharing an idea of the company brand, you allow the creatives to get an indication of the type of business. They can then weigh up whether it is bright-fun-bold, corporate-professional, techy, eco-focused, chipper... what ever. This will allow them to share examples of work that may align with this image to help show they can produce work inline with your business's image and target audience.
Animation Target Audience
Defining your target audience early on is essential to making any marketing content, whether a website, static image, filmed video or animation.
If you get it wrong, the investment could easily be wasted with a lacklustre return.
It's best if you break this down to the producers, detailing who the audience you are targeting is. In just a few words, give them a clear idea of the target audience so they can share examples with quotes. Plus, in production, they can write scripts, design visuals, and produce an animation that directly appeals to that specific audience and look to maximise impact and effectiveness.
Include whether the video is business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), or both.
You could include a marketing persona, where you describe an imaginary character that fits the bill of the target audience. i.e. Geoff is a 45-year-old male with a high-profile business job in the healthcare sector. He has a good understanding of technology, is well-read, and is keen to increase efficiency at work.
This provides a way to make you focus on defining the target audience. You may decide to share the persona (or personas) later with studios to keep the initial animation brief more succinct.
Share video examples that you like
Share links to videos that you found visually appealing, even if the subject is completely different to your own. This gives the producers a clear idea of the quality and animation style you are looking for.
To quickly explain the subject, you can also share links to videos and URLs on the project's subject, even if they're visually poor. It can also allow you to show where the bar is currently set for content by competitors.
Animation Project Budget
Whilst animation studios will happily put together quotes, the more you can invest, the better the quality of service and final production. Understandably you may not want to show all your cards whilst getting initial quotes.
However, sharing a rough indication of the budget (no matter how broad) can help you and the studio. They can decide whether a project is likely to be of interest and also gauge what animation techniques they could use to make your video as effective and high-quality as possible.
Animation production can be a significant investment, taking up a good chunk of your marketing or training budget. So when considering the goals for the content, also try and decide what that could be worth to your business. Plus, how effective a higher-quality video could be.
There are lots of variables that come into play with a budget. For example, internal training videos may not need to look as fancy or polished as marketing or event videos, but they are often much longer.
Plus, to stand out online and compete for viewers' attention, producing unique and visually engaging animation can take a talented team, time and investment, even if only short pieces of content are needed.
Suppose you are commissioning animation for a specific event or marketing release. Then be sure to include any preferred or hard dates for completion in your animation brief.
A quick project turnaround can impact a production quote or rule out a studio completely. They may have to put more members of their creative team on the project to speed up production or propose simpler and quicker production ideas to meet the deadline.
Likewise, projects with no hard deadline can allow studios to provide more competitive quotes as they can easily fit them in and around other projects. Or they may propose putting more time into a project to make it stand out as something special and of high quality.
TOP TIP: Animation studios are made up of creatives keen to produce exceptional work, especially if they can showcase it in the future. So flexible deadlines can lead to better work being produced without increasing budgets.
Alternatives to getting animation quotes
Whilst a typical approach for commissioning an animation has been to write and share a brief and receive quotes from studios.
At Stormy Studio we recognise that sometimes that process can be a bit slow, especially when trying to get a rough idea of the cost when first considering having an animation created for business. Or when you just want to get on with your day.
For this reason, we offer 3 ways to get going as soon as possible.
We have our unique instant online animation pricing tool that gives a quick ballpark quote.
We have 3 fixed price options for high-quality 60-second business explainers.
Finally, we have a subscription option for ongoing productions, ideal for expanding brands and enterprise-scale businesses.
That's a wrap
Hopefully, the steps and information shared on this page help answer the question 'How do you write an animation brief for a business marketing video?'.
We recommend checking out our quick animation brief template tool to create a downloadable PDF to share with our and other animation studios.