Mobile Phone Animation Case Study

mobile phone animation

There are 30.6 million mobile phone users in Canada. With 37.1 million people in the country, that means about 82% of our population has a cell phone. It also means that it’s not unusual for us to get a request to make a video that either includes or is based on cell phone use. Today’s blog looks at five Key West Video projects that feature mobile phone animation.

Tami Edu

In late 2015, client Tami Smart City Tech asked us to make a video to promote Tami Edu. This “mobile first app platform” was designed to appeal to teachers, parents, and principals. This app targets busy professionals and characters are shown throughout the video using their phones in a variety of situations. With scripting that says “quick, painless, on-the-go”, we reinforce the idea that this app is providing convenience through mobile phone animation.

By animating this promo, we could literally show app features and figuratively show the advantages of using Tami Edu. The first time the app is mentioned, we see a cell phone that shows only the logo. Later in the video, we see things like a heart icon and a checklist. None of these things would actually appear on-screen for a user, but we’re able to represent use features this way. The viewer doesn’t take the on-screen references as literal representations but instead understands that app capabilities are being explored.

Mobile Phone Animation Case Study

Crosslinx aCross Town App

If you live in the Toronto area, you know all about the Eglinton Crosstown transit project. Due to open in 2021, construction started in 2011 and anyone traveling in the area knows it can be a hassle. Client Crosslinx wanted to address the related traffic issues by introducing a free app. In late 2016, we worked on a mobile phone animation for an app meant to placate GTA travelers by helping them navigate the construction.

This video is a combination of animation and graphics. Although the hand holding the phone and the phone itself are both animated, the information appearing on the screen is graphics-based. Because the bulk of this video is an explainer on how to use the aCrosstown app, it’s useful to most closely represent the images and icons a user would see. The video walks the audience through using the two mobile phone modes: drive and transit.

Mobile Phone Animation Case Study


Our first two examples are about apps, but our next client offers something a little different. As an all-in-one hospitality platform, Mosino can be accessed and used via mobile, tablet, and tv. This video, which includes mobile phone animation, was created in late 2017. The target market is hotels and resorts, but Mosino’s applications are demonstrated by using a guest’s point-of-view. Using her phone and tablet, guest “Karen” navigates her stay through the Mosino app.

Once again, this is a video that uses an animated character and phone combined with in-phone graphics. We see example after example of how Karen can communicate her needs and wants to hotel staff through Mosino. From booking dinner and a massage to ordering more towels, the viewer learns how Karen’s requests trigger alerts that keep hotel staff informed and working efficiently. For most examples, we see the character engaging with her phone to demonstrate app use.

Mobile Phone Animation Case Study


This fall, the makers of PetFast asked us to help promote their new app. They wanted Key West Video to create two short animated pieces, aimed at different target markets. To showcase this app, the client wanted us to portray the characters using mobile phones. The world the characters inhabit is animated and what the viewer sees on the phone screen is a mix of animation and graphics. Maps, messages, and menus all helped us communicate on-screen with the audience and show what PetFast is all about. Here’s the user version:

Mobile Phone Animation Case Study

Virtual Brokers

Virtual Brokers is an online brokerage that can certainly be accessed on your phone, but that convenience had nothing to do with using animation for this commercial. We’d worked with the client before, promoting their service with a live-action ad. This time, they wanted to use texting as a way to reach their target market of young, affluent men. They felt it was a good vehicle to speak directly to their audience in a familiar language.

Using animation enabled us to create a thirty-second commercial that would have taken much longer to play out in live action. We could speed up the text conversation, which touted the attributes of Virtual Brokers, by overlapping messages in a way that was still easy to read. The idea was to mimic a typical text exchange between two friends, complete with emojis.

Mobile Phone Animation Case Study

Mobile Phone Animation for Your Business

Mobile phones are a big part of our everyday life, so it makes sense that we’re being asked more often to include them in our videos. If a client wants to show the specifics of an app, website, or text conversation, animation is the perfect vehicle. We can illustrate how an app will look or its functions even before it goes live. Animation also allows us to add, emphasize, or manipulate an image in whatever way works best for the client. If you have a product or service that could benefit from this kind of video, give us a call today for a free quote.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Key West Video Best of 2018

Over the course of a year, we work on a lot of projects at Key West Video and 2018 was particularly busy. We worked locally with cities and regions. Clients such as Ornge, Bain & Company and Sun Life Financial were regulars on our roster. There were music videos shot in our studio and we supported more than one crowdfunding campaign. Cars, kids and colleges all had starring roles in our productions. We promoted apps, animated beer taps and even got into the international film scene. In short, it was one heck of a year! Here are some of the projects that left a lasting impression.

Local Heroes

Grant Thornton has been a client for years and they bring us a lot of interesting work. In the summer, the accounting and business advisory firm asked us to produce something they called Five Stories. We were given twenty-five biographies and asked to think about which would translate best to brand stories. Our DOP had the first look and he chose candidates that represented his visual interests. After he made suggestions, the client had the final say and we narrowed the group down to five. We were asked to flesh out a story for each that ran sixty to ninety seconds. The theme was human connection. It was our job to show how each Grant Thornton employee was connecting with their client while also contributing to the community. We shot in Nova Scotia and B.C. for the videos that now live on the client’s careers website. 

This project was a top pick for many of us here at Key West Video. The owner liked that we were asked to do something different. It was up to us to pitch ideas, shoot in a more cinematic way and step outside the corporate box. Our DOP sunk his teeth into a dramatization that illustrates how these employees are involved with their community and have a real impact on their client’s lives. He saw firsthand how services are tailored to specialized industries in different parts of the country. The resident writer loved the challenge of telling each story in a way that satisfied stakeholder goals and connected with the viewer.

Here’s the story of Josh, Orchard Hill Farm and one of the cutest babies we’ve ever seen.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Talking Beer Taps

Many of our videos are created to be used internally. Sometimes these are training videos or CEO addresses shared with the entire company. Other times, they’re lip-synced music videos and spoofs that bring some levity to a meeting or seminar. Last winter, we produced a series of videos for Labatt Breweries to be used at their National Commercial Conference. There were videos that showcased branded swag, employees throwing out pitches for the Blue Jays, GIFs, and one video in particular that featured animated characters. The editor who worked on this project dug deep to bring some recognizable bar staff to life. Some other Key West Video employees pitched in with voice work.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Keep on Truckin’

Our DOP loves assignments for creative advertising agency Tattoo Projects. Based in North Carolina, Tattoo has clients all over the USA. That means our shooters get to travel and are often working with artists. It’s fun to shoot colourful visuals and capture the passion so many of these subjects have for their work.

In the fall, we worked with Tattoo Projects to help promote their client, convenience store chain Sheetz. These stores are well-known and well-loved with 500 locations across six states. Our DOP liked that this promotion was tied to artists working on pieces that represent their regions. He enjoyed learning about local features and the pride people took in their hometowns. The editor who worked on the video below had fun with all the footage our shooter gathered and liked cutting with music that isn’t the norm around here.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Small Business, Big Impact

Key West Video understands what it’s like to be a small business. We may work for some pretty big companies, but we also like to feature the little guys. Client Copper Marketing hired us to produce a series of videos featuring small businesses for Toronto Finance International. One of our shooters said the video for Paul’s Boutique was one his favourite jobs this year. He liked the opportunity to move away from an office environment and shoot in a visually stimulating setting. We think you’ll see what he means when you watch this video.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Learning and Growing

Key West Video Best of 2018
Line art from a new animation

Animation is a big part of what we do at Key West Video. Our animator is always busy with explainer videos for new apps, promotional pieces for benefits, and all sorts of other projects. She’s currently working with some line art and iconography animation, which she likes because it’s different from the usual story-based projects.

Our writer enjoyed scripting an animated piece for the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario. From the first meeting with LDAO staff, she felt connected to this project. Part of working in corporate video is learning about new businesses and services. This project taught our writer about the language used in this field and challenged her to consider the perspective of the characters being represented in the video. It’s the writer’s job to get inside the head of the target market and write in a way that connects with the audience. On top of all that, she loved what the animator did to bring the script to life.

Key West Video Best of 2018

Fun, Fun, Fun

We have one word to describe working with the City of Vaughan on their part-time recreational jobs video: fun! This client was accommodating, full of ideas and really excited about their program. When we shot with the workers featured in the video, it wasn’t hard to sell the idea that this would be a great place to work. We pitched an idea that showed the employees in action and paired that with an animated white card to punctuate their job titles and why they loved their work. The writer had a vision for this project and the editor was challenged by the technique used with the cards. Do you know which tv show we’re paying homage to with the introductory sequence?

Key West Video Best of 2018

Key West Video Final Thoughts

Thanks to all our clients for bringing us another great year of projects. In 2019, we hope to stretch our minds and flex our video muscle even more. Regardless of the message you want to deliver, Key West Video is up for the challenge. Call us today and let’s see if we can get you on our best of list next year.

Disability Representation in Video

disability video

We’re often asked to create videos that are representative of a diverse population, including people with disabilities. Whether we’re shooting live action with casting or making an animation, this can be accommodated. How we do it is a discussion to have with the stakeholders.

Many clients are concerned that if they present us with a list of disabilities, the attempt to show diversity will be too blatant. But that’s kind of the point. If the person using a cane stands out to the viewer, and they recognize that person as seeing-impaired, then the viewer is recognizing the inclusion of a seeing-impaired person in the video. There are many people with invisible or hidden disabilities, which can be difficult to represent unless you’re speaking specifically about that person. However, if your goal is simply to show diversity, it’s useful to employ symbols that everyone can identify.


When it comes to including people with disabilities in your video, consider your audience. Are you speaking to your internal workforce? Do you want to include examples that reflect your employees? Are you targeting customers with particular needs? Every viewer finds it easier to relate to a video in which they see themselves. Our clients often want to make it clear that their services and products are available to EVERYBODY, so they want to be as inclusive as possible. Think about how you’d like that inclusion to look on video. We’ve created videos specifically geared toward people with disabilities and their families, including a promotional piece for Red Roof Retreat.

Disability Representation in Video


Diversity can be easier to show with animation. This is true of any video looking to show a diverse population. With animation, you can create any character you like and be as specific as you want to be. When we worked with client Ophea on videos for their Healthy School Certification program, they asked us to show a varied student population. Our animator included various children in wheelchairs and riding accessible bikes, as well as students playing inclusive games.

Disability Representation in Video

Making Video Accessible

When it comes to making video accessible to everyone, think about the standards your project needs to meet (see AODA below). These can include closed and open captions, transcripts, various forms of description, and ASL . We’ve made several videos that feature ASL and LSQ, including this explainer for Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services.

Disability Representation in Video


The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) has a mission to identify, remove, and prevent barriers for people with disabilities. This act sets standards when it comes to accessibility in all areas of daily life. We’re often asked by clients to make our videos AODA compliant. This covers formats such as closed captioning and video description for hard-of-hearing and blind or low-vision users.

Canadians with Disabilities

It’s not only lawful to make video accessible to all Canadians, but it’s also representative. Here are a few stats on Canadians with disabilities:

  • an estimated 3.8 million people over 15 have a disability
  • more than 80% of persons with disabilities reported using at least one aid or assistive device
  • over a quarter of persons with disabilities who were employed indicated that their employer was not aware of their work limitation
  • among the working-age population with disabilities, 24% required modified or reduced work hours

Inclusion is Easy!

If you’re interested in making an inclusive video, Key West Video has the experience to make that happen. We want you to be able to address every memeber of your audience. Call us today for a free quote.

App Demo Videos

app demo videos

So you made an app? Good for you! Now you need to let people know about it so they can start downloading. You can promote your app on a website, push it on social media, or buy search ads. But one of the fastest and most effective ways to create awareness is with an app demo video.

Why Video Works

Video generates awareness. When it comes to apps, people want to see them in action. You can describe what your app does, but showing how it works enables the viewer to imagine using it. Reading that an app matches paint colour is one thing. But watching a short demo showing you how the app takes a picture, matches your wall colour, and identifies nearby stores that carry your paint is something else. Once you’ve seen the demo, you’ll remember that app when it comes time to put a fresh coat of paint on the living room wall.

App Demo Videos
Your app stands out with a video demo

Whether a potential customer comes across your app in a search or stumbles on it by accident, a video can lead to conversions. In a search, your product will stand out if it has a video attached. If you’re selling your app on the Apple App Store, take advantage of the app preview option. Google’s Play Store also allows you to include a short video. Use this opportunity to convince the buyer that your app will make their life easier.

App Demo Essentials

The first thing to remember when creating a video for your app is to keep it short. You may only have fifteen seconds to sell your product, so get right to the point. For super short videos, you need that hook that convinces an audience why they can’t live without your app. Tell them what problem you’re solving or how you’re making life easier. When you have a little more time, start with the practical features and navigation. Does your app save the user money? Will it make a commute less dull? Show people how it works with a simple demo. Brand your product and tell the audience where to get it. Ideally, this video is appearing in tandem with an option to buy and download. If not, make sure you tell people how to buy your app with a CTA.

Format and Tone

App Demo Videos
Speak to your target market with a demo

Choose to make a video that aligns with the spirit and branding of your product. When it comes to a format for your video, both animation and live action work well. Have a look at some existing demo videos to see what you think would work for your app. As for tone, what kind of service are you promoting? If it’s fun and whimsical, use that approach for everything from scripting to music. A financial investment app may call for a more serious tone. Consider your Target Market and what will appeal to them.

App Stats

How many apps have you used today? Here are some numbers illustrating how much we rely on apps.

  • There are 8 million apps in the Google Play store
  • You’ll find 2.2 million in the Apple App Store
  • Total mobile app downloads last year: 197 billion
  • People use an average of 9 apps daily and 30 apps monthly
  • Last year, mobile apps were the source of nearly half of global internet traffic

From Our Files

At Key West Video, we’ve been asked to make a variety of video demos to promote apps. There was the one for parties and events, the one for online investing, and now we’re working on a video for pet services. We also created this demo for Crosslinx.

App Demo Videos

Let’s Talk

Make video part of your marketing plan to promote an app and see the results for yourself. Boost awareness and conversions by letting your customers know what your app is all about. Call us today for a free quote.

Case Study: Ascensia Diabetes Care

Did you know that one in two people currently living with diabetes is unaware they have the disease? November is Diabetes Awareness month and today is World Diabetes Day. Key West Video has done several diabetes-related videos, and today we’re taking a closer look at work we’ve done for Ascensia Diabetes Care.

Repeat Client

We initially created an animated video for Ascensia two years ago. The client asked us to update the video this past spring.

Case Study: Ascensia Diabetes Care



The first thing you’ll notice about this video is the colour scheme. Other than some visuals for an app, there are only three colours used in the project: purple, blue and white. These are the branding colours of Ascensia. Designating only these colours for the video means the visuals keep referring back to the logo and the overall branding of the company. It also means the video fits with the rest of Ascensia’s marketing materials.

Visual Thread

This video starts with the word TECHNOLOGY and the idea of how it keeps us all connected. The visual is a set of lines that grow from the text and appear throughout the video. This works well because the theme of the video is interconnected diabetes management (IDM). When working with animation, it’s not always necessary to come up with a visual metaphor or concept. However, a unifying idea that can be represented visually is often effective.

Case Study: Ascensia Diabetes Care
This is an icon-driven animation, as opposed to character-driven

The animation used for this video is icon-based. That means we used icons and symbols for the visuals, as opposed to using a character-based narrative with animated people. Even when we talk about a population, we use symbols like a silhouette of heads rather than an actualized character.


Once the idea of IDM is covered, the script talks about issues and needs familiar to the target market. Now that we have the attention of the viewer, we introduce Ascensia. This is followed by some company history and then an explanation of the Contour Next One system. It may feel like waiting until the video is almost a quarter of the way through is a long time before hearing about Ascensia. However, making sure you have the audience’s interest before trying to sell them something is a valid approach. Having said that, every video is different and we always work with clients to decide the best way to deliver their message.

Case Study: Ascensia Diabetes Care
The app is a promotable feature

The back half of the video is all about the advantages of using the Contour Next One. We cover the app, new partnerships, and health care connectivity. All of these points are illustrations of how the client’s product will make living with diabetes easier. It’s important for the viewer to feel connected to what’s being said so they can imagine using the product.

Explainers Work

This video runs two minutes and seventeen seconds, which is a great length. It’s short enough to keep the viewer watching and long enough to explain the product and its advantages. If you’re thinking about an explainer video for your business, two minutes is a good target. We can help you use that time to say everything you need to say and connect with your audience. Call us today for a free quote.