Animatics: Blueprints for Broadcast Success

Broadcast acantor | January 3, 2018

Shrinking budgets, faster timelines, and the need for cross-channel content is making the job of agency producers, creative directors, and brand managers more and more difficult. Which is why it’s even more important to get the most out of your advertising dollars. And like any major undertaking, having a planned blueprint for execution is crucial for the success of the finished product.

But an advertisement isn’t a house, or skyscraper, or rollercoaster – so what’s the best way to predict and plan for the outcome of a commercial before the budget is spent and the video recorded? Here are a few things to think about when putting together a “blueprint” for your commercial production. 

Why not just Pre-Vis?

Most commercials go through a pre-visualization (pre-vis) process to plan out the technical execution and rough look of the future finished spot. But there are a few important shortcomings with relying on this workflow alone:

  1. Pre-vis isn’t good to show to your clients, focus groups, or even your Aunt Martha.  The average viewer may get distracted by the rough, unfinished quality of pre-vis, hurting the ability to communicate the emotion and intention of the concept. 
  2. Storyboards are a fantastic way to outline your rough idea, but without timing or motion, the final execution is unpredictable at best. 
  3. An animatic, on the other hand, incorporates all the benefits of pre-vis (real-life camera movement and lens selection, editing timing, and story flow), plus a chance to connect the viewer with relatable characters and decide whether natural performance will agree with your spot length, editorial, and storyline.  
  4. Sending a more finished animatic for focus group testing gives you a more detailed plan for your final execution of the concept. But, it can also give you great insight into how the spot will be received by your target audience – not just the production and brand team.  

Practice makes perfect

Some brands and agency folks discount the value of animatics in rehearsing a concept before production. Relying on a storyboard or script alone to perfect a concept is a big risk when everyone’s imagination is different. Seeing character emotion, camera placement and movement, and scene timing in advance is crucial to determining everything from number of sets and characters needed, to whether or not your concept will come through effectively in 15 or 30 seconds. 


Knowing what works (or doesn't)

It’s hard to tell what’s vital to a story line or not when you can’t see it play out in front of you. Sure, we’d all love to cram 60 seconds worth of content into a 30-second commercial, but your audience can only process so much. Seeing your storyline come to life in an animatic, or even a boardomatic, can be a huge game changer in simplifying your concept and will get you closer to communicating a clear message to your audience so they can connect more with the brand. 


 The next time you’re preparing your blueprint for commercial content – whether TV, online, OOH, or digital – consider all the benefits you could gain by starting with an animatic first. Can’t decide what animatic style would be right for your concept? We can help. Give us a call today! 

  Concept Testing