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.
– What Is Powtoon?
– 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 Review Conclusion
How To Subscribe To 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.”
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.
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.”
“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:
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.
Though 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:
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.
Remember these before your start. These are three major steps in creating a wonderful Powtoon story.
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.
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.
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.
You 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Rest 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!
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.
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.
Press the green button and you’ll also find the Sign Up form below. Just indicate if you’re a student or teacher.
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…