“In a busy setting, do animation and sound in particular distract viewers from absorbing your messages, or do they help to draw attention? How much is too much?”
It totally depends. Where is the audience and venue? If they are in a large or busy area, it may be difficult for them to hear specifically. I think that animation is always helpful in conveying a message and catching the eye. Something moving will always draw more attention than a static image. It can be overwhelming though depending on the location. In Las Vegas, for example, everything is animation and it kind of drowns out when that’s all that’s around you.