With live-action production all but impossible in these tumultuous times, we here at Toast thought it might be useful to talk about other options for promoting your product, brand or company.

Animation for advertising

We turn our attention to animation. Some dos and don’ts, the process, the cost, the advantages and the disadvantages. And finally, some animation packages that we can offer here at Toast should you be interested in going down this route.

The crucial moment during the process of developing an animation is in the initial stages where you’re considering what animation styles you’re going to adopt. Budget can be a deciding factor; character and 3D animation cost more than say 2D animation.

Below we’ve put together a lexicon of animation styles for you to have a look at.

animated tv commercial production
modern animation styles
Animated P logo with megaphone

Animation Styles

Whatever animation styles you go for, the initial style frames will show the direction of travel of the animation. These are single still frames that will indicate the sort of animation that will be used, the colour scheme, the characters. It’s important that all stakeholders agree on this style from the get-go.

The script is also crucial. It needs to reflect the brand in the sort of language used and it also needs to be short and to the point. Animators use the soundtrack to animate to so the script and music are the foundation stones for any animated project. Changes to the script and music at a later stage can result in having to unpick many hours or even days of work.

cartoon animation styles
form of animation

Animation Sounds Design

Sound design is a powerful tool in the animation armoury. The choice of voice over can help bring to life your characters on screen and of course, the power of music is inestimable. Sound effects, again are great to bring the project to life.

So what are some the advantages of animation?
You have at your disposal a series of assets that you can use across TV, social and online platforms. You don’t need to buy them out like you would a featured artist – though if using a voice-over, a buyout would be applicable.

Approachable Animation

Equally, animation can present a brand in an accessible and non-threatening way – so for instance, financial products which can sometimes seem complicated and perplexing to many can be presented in an approachable, friendly way. Similarly, products such as funeral or will-writing services can be portrayed in a more benign light.

Innocent smoothie carton in park

Disadvantages of Animation?

Animation doesn’t suit some sectors. Animated food doesn’t tend to play to this sector’s strengths – it’s difficult to bring to life appetite appeal (though our stop-frame ad for Innocent is an exception to the rule).

Speed – it can take a little longer to produce an animated piece than a live-action project.
In the UK, television runs at 25 frames per seconds. In animation, you need to work on each frame separately so if you have a 30 second animated TV ad, you will be dealing with 750 individual frames.

3 Dos and 3 Don’ts of animation

  • Do leave enough time
  • That aside, it’s important to get the style you want and that sometimes takes time to get right.

  • Do keep the text short and to the point.
  • Do get buy-in from stakeholders to the script and the style frames before animation starts.
  • Don’t throw too many messages into your animations. Less is more.
  • Don’t forget your audience – whilst bouncy animations might keep kids amused, an older audience might find this distracting and off-putting as they try to absorb the content at their own pace.
  • Don’t make animations too long – 90-120 seconds max for online consumption would be my rule of thumb.

The Process to produce 30 second TV Advert

Agree the script & music
Script to Clearcast
Start style frames


Clearcast clearance
Voice-over casting
Agree on style frames


Record Voice over
Move to animation of first 10-15 seconds
Send first 10-15 seconds to view


Feedback on initial 10-15 seconds
Start work on 2nd 15 seconds
Basic sound effects added


Feedback on 2nd 15 seconds
Finishing – colour grade/sound effects
Send to Clearcast


Legalise for broadcast
Clearcast clearance
Send to stations



Production Cost

Production costs can differ due to the complexity of the animation and animation styles chosen or voice-over talent used. As a rough guide, our animations for broadcast start at £15k and non-broadcast animations start at £5k.

If you have any questions, please do get in touch
Or call Fliss on 07714 798262