Powtoon Review - It Rocks!

Powtoon Review – Why Powtoon Rocks!

Powtoon

$0.00 (Free Account)
9.5

Ease of Use

9.8/10

Animation Style

9.8/10

Character Variation

9.3/10

Affordability

9.0/10

Support

9.8/10

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Extremely Engaging
  • Awesome For Presentations & Videos
  • Availability of Free Account
  • Superb Support

Cons

  • Limited character gestures
  • Unavailability of video on video
  • High Business Account Cost

 


 
This Powtoon Review is the first in-depth DIY animated explainer video software that I’ll be spending time on as I’ve been using this for over a year now. In fact, I’m still using this largely for my corporate presentations, personal usage and gigs.

If you’re seriously pondering on whether going for Powtoon or has some bits of hesitation, check this unbiased comprehensive review first. I’ll try to be as objective as possible but do bare with me as this is quite lengthy.

 

Powtoon Review – Table of Contents

Introduction
– What Is Powtoon?
– Founders
– Lowering Your Guard
– The Power of Toon
Who is Powtoon for?
How does Powtoon Work?
My Thoughts on the Product
– My Personal Use
– Using Powtoon Commercially
PROS and CONS
Powtoon Applications
Powtoon Support
Powtoon Review Conclusion
How To Subscribe To Powtoon

Introduction

What is Powtoon?

Powtoon is simply a combination of a presentation (Powerpoint) and animated cartoon. Though Powtoon’s mission is to address all the frustrations that people have with Powerpoint and Keynote and add animation and killer design, its greater vision is to effect the way people communicate in a profound way: “If a picture speaks a thousand words, an animation conveys an idea.”

FoundersPowtoon Scientists - Ilya, Sven, Daniel, Owen

The key people in Powtoon are llya Spitalnik (Co-Founder and CEO), Daniel Zaturansky (Co-Founder and COO) and Sven Hoffman (Co-Founder and CTO). They released a beta version of Powtoon in August of 2012 and secured a startup capital of $600,000 from Startup Minds in Dec. 2012.

Because the cost to produce a great 90-sec animated video was between $2000 – $25,000, Powtoon has disrupted this and created a space for businesses and marketers by providing them tools and marketplace to create awesome presentations.

Not only did the Powtoon team captured the business sectors. It also has captured the hearts of teachers and students in the education sector as they themselves used the Powtoon tool to make captivating and engaging contents with so much fun.

 

Lowering Your Guard

An excerpt from llya Spitalnik

In his book, The Power of Cartoon Marketing – How to create an awesome animated video that will get you noticed and your message heard – with zero prior know how!lya Spitalnik mentioned about our love of cartoons as children and that we can “lower our guard” when watching cartoons. 

Here are few lines from Ilyas that really captured my attention why we don’t hate cartoons (even if some of us don’t necessarily love them).

“A cartoon encourages you to lower your guard and stop asking grown-up questions like: Do I like this packaging? Am I familiar with this brand? Do I have any prior experience with this vendor?

This is where cartoons become such a powerful marketing tool….

By eliminating the “criticizing” instinct for even just a few moments, we open ourselves to new messages.”

The Power of Toon

“Harnessing the power of a cartoon can help you create high- impact messages that speak to prospects in ways virtually no other medium can, because:

  1. You’re speaking to them via a channel they’re conditioned to associate with fun and childhood (and most definitely not business and sales) – so their guard is down and they’re massively more receptive.
  2. The added level of abstraction allows them to focus on the message rather than petty details, so they can actually evaluate the real benefit.”

There is no turning back since then. All of their tutorials, webinars, articles, books and email messages convey the same  important message – that it’s cool to keep on using animated videos for various audiences as they are generally and globally acceptable.

 

Who is Powtoon for?

Powtoon as used by an entrepreneurThough Powtoon hearts the business and education sectors, it’s actually for everyone, animators or non-animators, who have the intention to create animated explainer videos or unique presentations. In specific terms, Powtoon is for:

  • Small & Medium Business Owners
  • Corporate Executives & Managers
  • Video Marketing Enthusiasts
  • Other Corporate Individuals
  • Web Business Owners
  • Internet Marketers
  • Church Leaders
  • Professionals
  • Consultants
  • Bloggers
  • Trainers
  • Students
  • You

 

How does Powtoon Work?

If you’re new to Powtoon, you can customize a Ready-made Powtoon and just replace the texts and images with your own. The timing, background, props and the animations have already been pre-made. Thus, you can possibly create your first animated explainer video in less than 5-10min.

You may also start from scratch as you click the blue Create button. That’d mean you’ll have a blank canvass where you can create anything that you want. However, to have the best result possible, you have to remember the Powtoon Scientists’ tips – write script, record voiceover before you add visuals.

In that case, you’ll have a solid structure to follow and a better story to tell. The drag and drop portion of the tool comes out best if you have a clear story line.

The 3 Major Steps In Creating Powtoon.

Remember these before your start. These are three major steps in creating a wonderful Powtoon story.

3 Powtoon Steps

    1. Write Script
    2. Record Voiceover
    3. Add Visuals

1. Write Script

Before doing the the Powtoon animation, write the script. The average attention span of today’s generation is 90 sec.  You might then ask, what’s the maximum number of words to write? Here’s a simple rule of thumb:

30 sec. video clip – 85 words
60 sec. video clip – 160 words
90 sec. video clip – 230 words

That’s how at least how the Powtoon scientists found out after thousands of research hours . In fact, they’ve discovered that the best cartoon length is between 63 and 92 seconds where the most crucial part is between 7-10 seconds.

With this data-driven information, you have to make an impact in your script in the first 20-30 words. Think of the best opener (whether they’re questions, quotes or challenges) as this is the time where your audience would decide to either stay or move on.

Regardless if you’re writing the script for your own video or your clients’, this tip applies.

 

2. Record Voiceover

If you are gifted with a golden voice and a skill for voiceover, then do it yourself. Well, even if it’s not that golden but “functional” enough to be listened to, go on as well. ( I don’t have a golden voice either but I try hard at times). You’ll definitely save time and dollars there especially if you’ve written the script yourself.

The total length of your video will somehow depend on the length of your voiceover. “Somehow” because you may use some background music to extend your video. The background music and audio tracks can lengthen your videos so do a good mix and match. It all depends on your story line.

 

3. Add Visuals

Once you’ve uploaded your voiceover (with or without background music), drag or add in the characters, texts, images from the library according to what the words or phrases dictate.

Drag and drop example of PowtoonYou can select whether the character’s entry is from the left, up, down, popping up, fading, etc. In this case, the surprised character came from the right.

You may also make it enter or exit with a hand.

Props like cars, animals, tables, explosion, etc. can also be added in on a pre-defined background (such as this) or against an imported image.

Just be as creative as possible as the words on the voiceover come by. You may or may not use texts on or outside bubble speeches.

You may also do the story telling without a voiceover but with music background and tracks. Just maintain the story line.

In this case though, you can make use of texts creatively. They can be animated per words or letters and they can be written by a hand.

My Thoughts on the Product

Needless to say, I’ve enjoyed using Powtoon for a year now. I’ve used it in the corporate scenes as well as my other gigs. It has helped me convey my message more convincingly. Let me walk you through my thoughts though from a couple of perspectives – one as a personal user and the other with a bit of perspective commercially.

 

My Personal Use

I haven’t tried others yet, except for Videoscribe, as I’m so far contented. I didn’t have to spend and dwell on other animated explainer video software software the past 12 months since one software was enough. As a corporate head, I use it quite sparingly since we have a Corporate Powerpoint template in the office. Besides, I’m quite selective on the contents that I’d be putting online as I’m afraid of divulging some confidential information.

What I normally do is to mix and match it with my Keynote and Powerpoint presentations by having slides using Powtoon Slides. After creating specific slides in Powtoon, I’d export it and save it as Powerpoint so I could incorporate it in my main corporate presentation.

I used Powtoon slides in a couple of presentations, but I had to delete the other immediately right after the presentation due to the sensitivity of information. The other is still live since it’s my first Powtoon creation that won in our Leaders’ Summit. Would like to get hold of it as long as I could.

I was also using Powtoon with a lot of fun especially for my wife on our anniversary, during Mothers’ day and birthday and for my kids’ birthday.

 

Using Powtoon Commercially

To date, I’ve earned decent extra dollars (probably equivalent to 5 Powtoon discounted business accounts) using Powtoon. In contrast with Videoscribe, where I got no customers when I first published it, Powtoon draw attention immediately. It’s probably why Powtoon is sometimes called magical!

The good thing is that it still continues to draw attention as far as explainer videos are concerned. It doesn’t matter if my clients were students or professionals or church leaders. They just love the end product that I create with Powtoon.

And because of that, I’ve just recently been promoted to a Level 2 Seller! That sounds like quality actually paid off.

PROS and CONS

PROS

  • Ease of Use. The process is quite simple especially if you’re already using Powerpoint or equivalent. Except for the timeline, the characters and the library, they look pretty similar. The transition from a Powerpoint experience to Powtoon is quite welcoming.
  • Engaging. It has lovable sets of characters and they’ve been adding new ones. In fact, the set of Heroes at Work is a great addition to their characters lately. I haven’t created a story out if it yet, but I’ll do it soon.

Powtoon Heroes at Work

  • Availability of Free Account. Depending on how you intend to use it, Powtoon is very much affordable. In fact, it’s free! You’re allowed to use the FREE account as long as you wish. You’ll just be limited with characters and the Powtoon logo is always at there at the outro.
  • Easy To Master. I learned Powtoon in 3 days. I should say that was more than 50% of what was there to learn in Powtoon. It was and it still is easy to learn. I learned Videoscribe end of 2013. Though I didn’t use it that much, I could still do the whiteboard animation today. The transition from Videoscribe to Powtoon is great. The learning curve isn’t that stiff. Once you have the compelling story in a script, it’s relatively easy to drag and drop the characters, props, images and backgrounds that are suitable for the story.
  • Functional Search Facility. When I started with Powtoon, there was no Search facility. I had to browse each style and see if the toons would match a word or a story. Today, you can look for the specific items that you need in your story quite easily as the Search Facility searches for your character, props or background requirements internally.
  • Lovable Music Tracks. There’s even more wonderful reasons for you to start using Powtoon today. They’ve just added 11 new Music tracks that they’ve categorized into 7 sections – Motivation, Drama, Christmas, Happy, Unicorn, Rock. You may check out their article here. Mixing and matching stories with your background music is a fantastic experience.
  • Consistently Updated. One good trait about Powtoon is that they listen to their customers. They have a community where they acknowledge their subscribers’ wish lists and voices. They continuously come up with innovations that would make their subscribers happier. Today’s functions and new sets of characters and images are a lot better than that of the previous years (check out Youtube’s tutorials of previous years).

CONS

  • Limited Character Variations. The characters are multiple and splendid but they have limitations on gestures. Most styles have happy, sad, angry, thinking, idea, hello and typing. If you are however looking for animated characters that are sitting but not typing on a computer, eating, sleeping (limited to a couple of styles), doing thumbs up, etc., you’ll be frustrated. You may need to be creative enough to produce the desired thought (Example. You can stop the animation on those typing male characters and put flowers on their hands when they’re trying to court a girl in a park)
  • Can’t Insert Video Clips on Movies. Although it’s possible to insert videos in Powtoon Slides (just like Powerpoint), it’s not applicable in Movies mode. So if you want an animated character watching a live video or doing tutorials on a PC image, then that’s not possible yet. What you can probably do is do it in Slides, export it in Powerpoint and turn that slide in a Video.Powtoon Pricing
  • High Business Account Cost. This is what you’ll see in Powtoon Pricing page. If you’ll compute the Business account, it’ll reach $2,364 per year. It’s definitely not worth it! But if you’ll be billed annually, you’ll pay only $708. Try talking to their Powtoon Support Team though. You’ll be given 20% discount outright. Remember that Question Mark at the bottom right? Just hit it. Now, you might ask if I have re-subscribed my Business account after using it for a year now. Short answer is YES. Long answer though is that because of their crazy deals along the way, I had to pay a lot, lot lesser than my first subscription.

Powtoon Applications

There are actually endless applications of Powtoon. Regardless of who you are and where you stand right now, you can create presentations and animations for your audiences, your loved ones or your clients. To name a few, these are some of the applications of Powtoon.

  1. Training
  2. Sales Pitch
  3. Website Intro
  4. School Lectures
  5. Animating Poems
  6. Product Promotion
  7. Animating Thoughts
  8. Student Presentations
  9. Introduction to Articles
  10. Corporate Presentations
  11. Explaining Book Summaries
  12. TED Talks or any other talks
  13. Business Startup Presentations
  14. And a Lot More. The Possibilities Are Endless

Powtoon Support

If you want to ask anything from Powtoon, just click that Question Mark at the rightmost corner below the Powtoon’s page and the Powtoon Support Team will pop up. Powtoon Support_Question MarkRest assured you’ll have answers within a few minutes from the time you popped that question.

You can ask anything about billing, technical or any other questions related to Powtoon.

At the time of writing this piece, I threw in my question about pricing. And this is what Angie has to say, “Basically, the $197 price is for the monthly subscription but if you subscribe to yearly, the price will mark down to $59 but you need to pay the entire year which is equivalent to $59 x 12 months = $708/year. But if you subscribe today, I can give you a special discount. Just go here to save 20% OFF.”

That’s within 5 minutes of asking the question.

Same is true if you’re having difficulties in your Powtoon creations. They’re very professional, approachable and technically adept of their stuffs. Seems like everyone in the team is an owner. They really care!

Powtoon Review Conclusion

Powtoon creations

If you want something refreshing and engaging for your presentations and animated explainer videos, Powtoon should be your first choice.

Though Keynote, Powerpoint and Prezi are great presentation tools, they may not necessarily be as fun and engaging as Powtoon.

You just can’t create animations like Powtoon does in those pieces of software.

You can however create video clips in Powtoon and insert in any of your favorite presentation tools.

With 23M+ Powtoon creations to date,  you’ll have a pretty good idea that it’s well loved and embraced by millions of creators.

With that, I could simply conclude that Powtoon is a great tool for your intended animated explainer videos and presentations.

With all the reasons cited above, Powtoon indeed rocks! It can serve your purpose excellently may it be personally, professionally or even commercially.

How To Subscribe To Powtoon

If you belong to the educational sector, whether you’re a student or a teacher, look for the tab 4Edu in Powtoon.com. You’ll find this.

 

Powtoon Subscription_4Edu

Press the green button and you’ll also find the Sign Up form below. Just indicate if you’re a student or teacher.

Powtoon Sign Up page

Otherwise, just click the Sign Up For Free tab and you’ll be brought to the same page.

The good thing is you’ll have a FREE account for as long as you want. Again, there may be limitations, but at least you can create awesome presentations or videos for your next important projects with pride and confidence.

And guess what your audience will say…

YOU ROCK!

 

About the Author Jojo

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8 comments
Stacy says March 20, 2016

I never knew this existed! This is so cool. I would seriously love to incorporate this into some presentations at work. I’m going to keep this site in mind so I can come back to it when I have a little more time and am able to read more into it.

Reply
    Jojo says March 21, 2016

    Hi Stacy!

    Thanks a lot! You can definitely learn so much even if you’ll try the free version. It’s indeed cool!

    You can also check the rest of the DIY animated explainer video software here http://toonblogger.com/10-best-diy-animated-explai…. I have yet to write reviews of the others though.

    Thanks!

    Jojo

    Reply
Anna says March 20, 2016

Hi,

This is such an awesome tool that I had no idea even existed! Your review is exceptional – you’ve covered everything a person needs to know before making a decision to try it out!

The possibilities are endless as to how a person can use this! It’s refreshing to see something different from what you normally see out there that is just as, if not more effective in capturing the attention of an audience.

I especially like the fact that it:
– is easy to use for someone who is a beginner
– can be done using a free account
– has excellent support

I am going to remember your site and give this a shot – thank you so much!

Reply
    Jojo says March 21, 2016

    Hi Anna!

    I’m glad it has helped you widen your views in creating contents. Animated explainers are really soaring today especially for people who love video marketing but wouldn’t like to expose themselves in front of the camera.

    You may also check my Top 10 Animated Explainer Video Software at http://toonblogger.com/10-best-diy-animated-explai…. You’ve read only one of the 10 as I have yet to do reviews of the other 9 (time isn’t just in my favor).

    Anyway, do keep in touch. I may be able to help you in your future projects with animations.

    Thanks!

    Jojo

    Reply
Lynn Drew says March 21, 2016

This is something totally new to me. How creative and fun and educational all at the same time. The Powtoon Scientists are truly innovators. I will pass this website on for sure! I love this site!
Best regards,
Lynn Drew

Reply
    Jojo says March 21, 2016

    Hi Lynn!

    Thanks for having the initiative to pass this on. Powtoon is indeed fun, creative and educational all at the same time, not to mention that you can do them for free (except that it’s limited to some characters).

    I’ll continue to make this site useful for wide range of audiences.

    Cheers.
    Jojo

    Reply
blubutterfly says March 23, 2016

Hi JoJo, wow this is a pretty awesome review and I really haven’t ever seen anything like this. I am currently building online businesses and this would work wonderfully on my site. Thank you so much, seems it can be used for almost anything. And I love that the kids can relate to it too. Thank You 🙂

Reply
    Jojo says March 23, 2016

    Hi Justine!

    You’re welcome!

    I’ll also be doing more reviews for the other animated explainer video software, but it may take time. I did this first as I’ve been a Powtoon user for more than a year now.

    Yes, kids and students can definitely relate to animations.

    I do have a lot of things in mind using toons. I’ll inform you then or you can check on this site again next month.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Cheers,

    Jojo

    Reply
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