Difference between Motion Graphics and Animation

Video-based websites such as YouTube have become an integral part of a content strategy, and the prevalence of smartphones means that video marketing will continue to be a preference for industry professionals across all sectors. According to Forbes, users are 64% more likely to buy products online after watching a video. Therefore, the global marketing industry has profited immensely from the unrelenting usage of motion graphics and animation. 

Understanding the difference between motion graphics and animation can help businesses determine how to utilize each tool as part of an impactful marketing strategy. 

Motion Graphics vs. Animation: How To Tell The Difference

So how does one determine what kind of video they are viewing at a glance? 

What is Motion Graphics

Motion graphics is a category of animation where complex information such as data, concepts, or procedures can all be brought to life for easy visualization. It may include text callouts, color blocking, link work, moving shapes and bubbles, or a combination of all of the above. These modes of relaying information became popular as marketers discovered that video content doubles organic search results as opposed to simply using words. Not to mention, you can lose your audience quickly when a message or concept is difficult to digest; motion graphics help to alleviate this problem. 

Some areas where motion graphics are most popular include:

  • Educational videos
  • Online courses and explainer websites
  • Product videos
  • Social media GIFs 
  • Captions and text call-outs within videos

What Is Animation

Simply put, animations make objects and images move. The principle of modern animation dates back as far as the 1800s with the use of sequential images; people were drawn to the concept immediately. It soon became a powerful tool for communication, and it wasn’t long before the marketing world would use video production and animation as their holy grail. 

When we are thinking about motion graphics vs. animation, think of animation as an overarching form of storytelling. Animation concepts include cartoon series, and movies are now sometimes based entirely on animated characters. Animated movies are among the highest-grossing outcomes in Hollywood. Frozen 2 is the highest-grossing animated movie of all time earning 1.32 billion dollars shortly after its release. As you can imagine, motion graphics is growing because of their potential and interest. Within animations, motion graphics can be regarded as tools to supplement the overall impact and message, especially when it comes to business video production marketing opportunities. 

In movies, motion graphics appear in the rolling credits, and in animated advertisements, they may appear as pop-up texts or in the form of moving data like graphs, lines, and charts. Today, the same opening credits, animation, and motion graphics techniques are used as tools within business video production content. The marketing world is dedicated to making an unavoidable impact, and nowadays, it cannot be done without animation. 

Motion Graphics vs. Animation: When To Use Each Technique

How does a business owner or a client determine if they require animation or motion graphics for their business? This depends on two factors:

(a) What is the message? 

(b) Who is this message for? 

If a business wants to convey a message to its staff and stakeholders about, let’s say, sales progress, a visually captivating presentation would require the help of motion graphics. The presentation would deliver complicated numerical and theoretical concepts in simple and visual ways so that staff from different departments could understand the content. However, if the same business is trying to deliver a message of societal impact through their work or deliver a corporate and social responsibility message to reach a broader audience, an animation video would be better suited. 


In 2021, video advertising is set to be a $22 billion industry. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are today’s top platforms for businesses to market their products, and they do so relying solely on motion graphics, and by default, they use animation. 

Motion graphics and animation are here to stay and are one of the best ways to tell a complex story in a meaningful way. 

Bottle Rocket Media specializes in video production and motion graphics services. Connect with our team to create a brand story that is entirely your own and makes an impact!

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