2 Reasons to Include Animation in Your Promotion Activities

by | Writing | 17 comments

“No one wants to be hit over the head with product features or your ravings about how great your product is. —Ilya Spitalnik (PowToon)


Image courtesy of olovedog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of olovedog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

During my marketing research, Ilva Spitalnik’s video, intrigued me with the idea of using cartoons in my blogs, promotions, and newsletters.

Ilya Spitalnik described PowToon as an animated presentation platform to create a video in minutes. PowToon has a free version and a pay version with more features and options.

But why should we bother to learn how to animate cartoons for communication or promotion?

Reason 1. Spitalnik says: “Ever since childhood we’ve been conditioned to love cartoons and associate them with fun and harmless entertainment.”

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So, says Spitalnik, when we watch cartoons:

  • we let our guard down
  • our minds accept the message
  • we view cartoons with less criticism and defensive attitudes


Cartoons can be powerful in promoting a product or message. Click to tweet


Reason 2. Spitalnik says, “The level of abstraction in cartoons allows us to focus on the bigger message.”

  • the viewer is able to evaluate the real benefits being presented
  • the viewer isn’t distracted in evaluating nonessential details 

Spitalnik gives an example comparing a drawing of a simple camera to a photo of a high-powered camera. When looking at the drawing, the viewer is more likely to think someone is going to take a picture. When looking at the photo, the viewer starts evaluating such things as the cost of the camera and how complicated it is.


Promo cartoons draw less criticism and help viewers focus on the real message. Click to tweet

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Spitalnik adds: “By using cartoons, you eliminate the criticizing instinct, even for a few moments, opening people up to your core message.”

Important Tips:

  • Turn your message into a clear and concise story. People want to be drawn in by a story. Then create the cartoon. View Spitalnik’s video to learn what elements you should include in your story.
  • Keep your video less than or equal to 90 seconds 


Draw viewers to your message by telling a story in a cartoon. Click to tweet.

Here’s the video I created just for fun using PowToon’s free version. The animation is low scale, but it’s my first attempt. Note: Here is the official book trailer.

What are your thoughts about using cartoons to send a message or promote a product?

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  1. Inspirations By Katheryn

    Fantastic. But where did you get the couple that was making google eyes at each other?

  2. Zoe M. McCarthy

    Thanks, Katheryn. The official trailer was produced by my publisher, Pelican Book Group.

    • Inspirations By Katheryn

      Aw, pshaw! I looked all over Powtoon for something like your lovy-dovy couple. Well, I created a story board for my Christmas Book “Star Song” on Pinterest. Maybe I can use those intermingled with the Powtoon animations. Thanks for bringing that to our attention. You’re a jewel, a veritable treasure chest of ideas. Some have been over my head, but I think I can handle the toons. You’re writeup about it was right on I think. My fingers are itching to give it a try.

      • Zoe M. McCarthy

        With your storyboard you’re a quarter of the way there, Katheryn. Have fun!

  3. Carole Brown

    So do you have links where we can learn/use these great ideas. Would love to know. Off to do some research . . . Thanks!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Carole, to get info on the PowToon cartoons, click on either place I have a link on the word “video” in the post. That will get you started.

  4. Linore Burkard

    Great job, Zoe. Very creative! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Zoe M. McCarthy

    Well, hey, Linore. So nice to hear from you. Thanks!

  6. Jane Foard Thompson

    I loved your PowToon! I think it suits your book better than the official trailer. You have definitely demonstrated its usefulness. Thanks!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Thanks, Jane. Hopefully each will appeal to different people’s likes.

  7. Jean Williams

    I like what you did and I agree that cartoons work well. But do they work well with more serious topics like my book. It is an upper middle grade about the protagonist’s sick parent and bullying she under goes in school. Would that work or not do you think?

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Good question, Jean. I think it would be harder to create a cartoon for a book about serious issues. But if you chose characters that weren’t silly and didn’t use gimmicks like popping in words, etc., people may feel more comfortable with the cartoons than real people. How about others. What do you all think?

      • Inspirations By Katheryn

        I have been experimenting for two days with the website you referred us to. My book is a novel about the birth of Christ. I did not bring cartoons into it until the end where I said the book also had a parallel children’s version. But I took advantage of the backgrounds, different fonts, fades, and background music. I imported my own pictures. Right now I’ve got two I am trying to decide which to use:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2oY4-eEMEU Adult Version-lyrical

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZlMlD_bJKo Adult Version-doubts

        I would appreciate any feedback.

        • Zoe M. McCarthy

          Katheryn, both had things I liked. I vote for a combo. I loved the soothing music. In the first video the green-background screen was a little too fast for me. In the second the screen that started with the word “Should” was a little fast. I really got into the second’s text and liked the background. Is there no sheep in the free version that could slide on to the screen when you mention the sheep? I wish you could add the hand writing in the second. The first gave more of the benefits of reading the book. Good job, Katheryn.

  8. Zoe M. McCarthy

    Katheryn, I don’t know if it’s possible, but I think the screens would look more integrated if you chose backgrounds that are more like the backgrounds of the pictures. I think you already tried on some screens to use colors from your photos in your background. But I think those colors take over. I think if you used dark browns and dark blues, depending on your photos, there wouldn’t be the separation of picture and words. Maybe use only white lettering on those dark backgrounds. Then the story is more about what is depicted in the pictures. I’d feel I was there and the words are a help.

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