Video Production

Connecting International Audiences With Animated Video

Denise Recalde 02.17.2020

The world seems to shrink more and more every day. First, we discovered we could hop on horses—suddenly, the village two days away on foot got a lot closer. Then, Henry Ford invented that magical horseless carriage and a couple hundred miles was just a weekend getaway. Passenger planes made the Pacific seem like a pond, and today, thanks to the power of technology, it seems like the entire globe is within arm’s reach.

A more connected world means more ways to connect with international audiences. It’s quite likely then that your video marketing strategy has the power to go beyond your traditional customer base, and reach into new markets for more exposure and brand recognition.

But what if the whole wide world doesn’t exactly catch your drift?

Video translations and captioning can help make your video more accessible and easy to understand for international audiences. But compelling video doesn’t only have to be easy to understand — it also has to be understood with messaging and storytelling that is both engaging and relate-able.

When appealing to a global audience, keeping your animation culturally translatable can be a challenge: here’s what we do to overcome it.

Related: Creating Videos For A Global Audience

Less Is More: Writing For International Audiences

Animations are all about enacting narratives through action, not words. But that doesn’t mean text doesn’t enter the equation. Sometimes it’s helpful to label things in a visual metaphor, especially when trying to visualize more complex topics, like software or technology. See how Avnet Archive Manager did this in their animated business video below:

 

During translation, replacing text could mean creating multiple versions of the same video, each in different languages targeted for a specific international audience. In some cases, this investment may be worth it, especially if your company has a strong foothold in a certain country, or want to establish a bigger presence there with more targeted video. 

However, using voiceover instead of on-screen text could serve as a more budget-friendly alternative with the same results. Instead of creating multiple animations, you could opt to record several different voice tracks instead, while the animation remains accessible to all audiences. For example, in the video below, voiceover is used to tell the story of “06” a wolf that goes on an incredible journey. By using storytelling with voiceover and imagery to connect with viewers rather than text labels, the video can easily be re-dubbed for a foreign language audience. 

 

Engage International Audiences Without Alienating

If you’re aiming to engage viewers in Mexico, Japan, France, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka, you may not want all your characters as monochromatic as can be. The world is a big, beautiful, diverse place—your animation should reflect that.

Different parts of the world have their own unique styles of animation and animation trends. If you’re creating video for audiences in different countries, it may be worth understanding what types of video styles different people connect to most.

Related: Animation Trends From Around The World

While your characters needn’t look a Hands Across the World coalition, they should allow your audience to see themselves in your work. One approach is to use iconic design and imaginative colors, like gTeam did in their explainer video below.

Animations That Transcend Local Cultures

As incomprehensibly vast as the globe is, it’s actually pretty manageable these days. Crafting an animation that resonates equally with audiences on each continent takes careful consideration, but it’s well within your grasp. Take these lessons to heart and watch your video become a global sensation.

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