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How animated words make emotional connections

Animating text so that its size, colour and position changes over time affects how we feel when we read the words. It's called kinetic typography and it's another useful string for your marketing bow. Find out how animated words can move your audience emotionally.

Kinetic typography comes in 2 main forms:

  • motion - letters and words move in relation to one another
  • fluid - a letter or word's form changes while it stays still

There's some solid evidence to show that animated text influences your readers' emotions.

Substantial evidence for animated text's emotional power

Researchers at Pennsylvania's Carnegie Mellon University tested people's responses to 4 different animations of the message 'I am fine'.

Each version was designed to appeal to a different emotion: happiness, joy, anger or sadness.

The results were fascinating. Even though the text itself was 'neutral', viewers experienced the expected emotion with each video.

Since the text used in the movies was neutral, and did not express any form of emotion, we [the researchers] can assume that participants were responding similarly to the emotion expressed in each kinetic effect.

Saul Bass - the master of wordy suspense

The emotive power of kinetic typography was shown to great effect in 3 classic Alfred Hitchcock thrillers.

Graphic designer Saul Bass cranks up our anxiety levels with his opening sequences for North by NorthWest, Vertigo and Psycho. Using just words, moving around on screen.


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Here's what Bass said about his work:

I saw the title as a way of conditioning the audience, so that when the film actually began, viewers would already have an emotional resonance with it.

Bring your content marketing to life...

How does all this help you? Well, according to the Content Marketing Institute, your marketing goals should be similar to those of Saul Bass.

The aim of your content marketing efforts is 'to change or enhance consumer behaviour'.

And we've just seen how effective animated text is at doing that.

 Keep reading about kinetic typography:

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