Still making sales presentations with slide shows or product announcements with press releases? Boring!

Get your clients’ attention with an animated video –and impress yourself with the fact that you made it.

We found three online tools you can use for little money and no drawing skills. We’re not talking Disney here, but simple web video cartoons with animated text and figures you select from a menu. Check out these animation software packages, and discover your inner “South Park”:

Powtoon (

This business-friendly site makes it super simple with canned animations you customize, for instance for a product demo, team introduction or law firm promotion. Choose among animated characters and objects, make them move around on the screen, add text, and import images such as your logo or product shots. Most fun special effect: Make a big photo of a hand swoop in and move things around. For sound, choose among royalty-free music selections and record a voiceover, also using the Powtoon tool. The result is a simple animation like this by Insightera, a small marketing automation firm.

You can try Powtoon for free but can’t download your video without a subscription, starting at $59 a month or $228 a year or a per-download fee of $8.

Go! Animate (

Similar tools to Powtoon but a very large choice of background scenes, canned action sequences (for instance, people talking around a meeting table) and characters. And you can make their mouths move so they act out your recorded dialogue. Take a look at this series of product-explanation videos by JW Surety Bonds for a real-life example of Go! Animate’s capabilities.

Try the tools for free on Go! Animate’s site; business subscriptions start at $39 a month or $299 a year.

Wideo (

A more limited library than the other two, but Wideo’s tool is very fun and very easy to use and the characters and props are so imaginative you’re inspired to jump right in and make a video. Here’s a Wideo done for a Buenos Aires bagel shop.

Make a video for free but it will have Wideo’s watermark on it. To remove the watermark and use the video online they charge $9 one time or $149 a year; to download a video (with no watermark) it’s $29 once or $249 a year.

The Bottom Line

While these online animation tools are easy to use, they still require a certain creative sensibility to plot out the scenes and write a simple script. So you may end up hiring a pro (or at least a film student) to do the production. Ditto for a voice-over announcer. But compared to the major bucks you would spend turning your project over to an animation studio, these DIY animation packages would make Scrooge McDuck smile.