Nowadays, everyone has a video. It's hard to stand out. Animation stands out. Animation took off because online video needed a shot in the arm. Viewers (and marketers) were tired of the same old talking-head-style corporate films that seemingly were de rigueur for much of the last decade. Nobody wants to see another nervous exec fumbling through scripted lines like he's in a hostage video.
Animation was an ideal solution to corporate video fatigue. It's bold, colourful, playful and charming – when done well. A cost-effective way of distinguishing yourself and delivering your message in a lively and engaging manner.
Now that animation is so popular, though, it's lost some of its sparkle. The market isn't flooded, but there's water seeping under the door. The surge in weird, automated animations is a good example - the ones with those bobble-headed stick figures with the obviously computer-generated voices, hovering around the place bleeting about “biz-niz so-loot-shuns”, like some kind of creepy clip-art nightmare.
In most instances, anyway, it's probably best to avoid stock content. With animation, this is certainly the case. The point of animation is to stand out – not the contrary. Also, when has a creepy generic cartoon with a robot voice ever worked on anyone ever?
Your animation doesn't have to be revolutionary; just steer clear of doing exactly the same thing as everyone else. A large part of animation's power lies in its charm. Your animation will be effective if it capitalises on this.