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Nine ways to push up the price of animated video and pay more

Learn how to be smart and spend where necessary.

If budgets are flexible, then this is what you need to know.

One of the PLAIN ANSWERS series by Producer Kevin Rossiter

Video transcript

Why on earth should you pay more? Nobody wants to pay more, but three things may cause this to happen. I’ll quickly run through them; customers, competitors, and goals.

Let’s quickly see what this means.


The chances are you’ll want to make them a video that gets them genuinely involved with your proposition. The video might be your primary proposition delivery vehicle, so you have to consider: “Is a a low impact quick benefit video message enough?” 

Now, it might be but your customer profile, you need to be certain.


Are you in a tough marketplace? Well, everyone says, yes they are, but if it’s a real yes, the chances are that looking different from the crowd, is a must-have for you. It’s not an option.

Your customers have to be able to tell you apart from competitors. If you all look the same, they’ll just buy from the cheapest. A long-lasting impression and maybe necessary to really win your customers over and stand out from the crowd.

Your goals

Now, here’s something that’s difficult for some people to do, but you’ve got to be able to put a value on what you expect from your video.

For example, if you think your video will win you 50% more engagements then put a money value on it.

The same for say, 15% more conversions. Money value, please.

5% more leads – money value.

You need to correlate between what you’re paying for the video on one hand, and what your return is in terms of money or performance, but ultimately it comes to money. You need to know this, and then you can budget accordingly.

Now on to the substance of these, nine ways to push up the cost of animated video.

1: Longer runtime

Telling a more involving, meaningful story will use more vital seconds – you’ll pay more time.

Animation costs hinge on runtime.

2: More characters

The more characters you have the more visually rich your story.

Put more characters in, it’ll look so much better, so much livelier.

3: Put expression into characters

Real reactions, and feelings that have to show. Now, this is more than just like a head nod that last three seconds on the screen.

You want something that’s going to make customers think, “Oh, Yes, Yes.”

4: Your characters can speak

Look at Homer Simpson, he’s lasted 20 years. It’s because they speak. They make it real, but this requires lip-sync, and it’s quite skilled, it takes some time.

Again, you’re pushing your cost up.

5: Complex character movements

As we mentioned, often character movement is just a shrug or a nod of the head, very simple stuff and that’s because it’s cheap.

This is one way to push costs down, but you may need to show specific operations or demos, or just generally have characters much more interesting in the way they move or wave their arms – react.

Complex character movements take more time – use higher skilled people, cost more money.

6: More scenes

You can have one scene that last 12 seconds, that costs less, but you might want to show different scenarios of your vertical markets or the way things are used.

You might want four different scenes in 12 seconds instead of one.

It’s all-time, it’s all work. It will push up the cost of the video, but it’ll be more involving.

7: Scriptwriter

This is interesting. Getting a better scriptwriter often doesn’t cost a lot more. If you can find someone who is better than average, they will tell a better story for you.

8: Voiceover

You can make the same sort of, not exactly savings, it pushes the price up – but a better voiceover, will tell your story more compellingly. A really great voiceover is like a violinist. 

When they speak, every inflection for every syllable, every word, every phrase, every sentence comes out so interestingly, they draw your audience in.

When you compare them with an average professional voiceover, the average is more like a one-trick pony, they’re great for 10 seconds, but are they really good enough to sustain your audience in a fascinating way?

9: Illustrator

Well, an animation illustrator can produce original artwork and design for animation. Now, a good illustrator who does this for a living all the time, probably cost more. You might be told you’ve got an illustrator, “Oh we’ve got an illustrator” … but they could be someone who just doubles as a web designer and like 10 other things, you don’t know.

A really good illustrator, you’ll pay more for, but they will give you something special that looks original.

Or if you don’t want to go the whole nine yards on cost, they can take existing clipart which costs peanuts, and they can modify it in a good way to make it look more original and still stand out in your marketplace.

Of course there’s music and sound, the quality of the animator, 3D animation, foreign languages.

These all push up the cost of the video, but we’ve done the big nine and these are the main things that will push up the price of your animated video.

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Okay, that’s it. Nine ways to push up the price of animated video and pay more.

Okay, back to work.

Author Kevin Rossiter has been producing business video for 30 years, won 14 awards, worked in many countries around the World, and is a regular blogger on business video topics.

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