In the COVID Era, Animation is the Future

I predict that in the next 12 – 18 months animation will be EVERYWHERE!

It’s already happening. I was watching old episodes of “Survivor” the other day and noticed two distinct types of commercials. There were the ones obviously filmed before Coronavirus (people in groups without masks). Then, there were the commercials filmed in our “new normal.” The newer spots used lots of flashing graphics, moving text, and still photography. If they did use video, it was either an isolated person OR an impersonal clip that obviously came out of some stock video library somewhere.

So What?

So you want to figure out how to keep your business thriving, don’t you? Me too. And throughout this pandemic, I’ve been taking a cue from hockey great Wayne Gretzky who said he always tried to think about where the puck would be, not where it is right now. In short, the puck is heading to dynamic, eye-catching animation!

Let’s Define “Animation”

For our purposes, animation is anything graphical moving on a screen (as opposed to live action like “Friends” or “Seinfeld”). This could be anything from an animated GIF to Marvel’s “Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse.” If you’re paying attention, you will see animated graphics (or motion graphics) everywhere. And I predict you’ll be seeing a lot more considering that much of the film production industry is delayed or canceled this year.

This move toward animation makes perfect sense. When people can’t physically get together, they can’t make movies. But animators can adhere to social distancing practices and create engaging content from their home office. In short, work-from-home computer nerds (like me) have made another significant step in taking over your world.

What Does this Mean for Marketers? 

You too can take advantage of this medium in growing your business. You probably don’t need to make a movie, but there are plenty of ways you can use motion in your marketing to stand out from the crowd. And whether you have $500 or $50K, here are a few ideas you can use regardless of your industry or business.

  • Scroll-stopping social media posts – it doesn’t even have to be fancy, just a little movement can make your posts pop (I demonstrated this on my last blog post).
  • Time-saving “explainer” videos to educate prospective clients about your products/services (here’s one I made recently).
  • Peppy GIFs to spruce up your email blasts.
  • Dynamic data visualizations to give life to a boring report (e.g. an annual report).

There are TONS of ways to use motion graphics and/or animation in your business. Are you sold? Are you ready to get something animated? If so, get in touch.

Have a great week,


And if you’re ready to discuss your next (or first?) animated project, drop me a line.

Pandemic Pivot

Three New Services I’m Offering

What’s the business buzzword of 2020? Pivot. Many of us started the year with grand plans and lofty goals. By mid-March, those were tossed aside and lay smouldering in the corner. Business owners were making a collective shift to find new ways to survive (and maybe even thrive) during a pandemic. 

I, for one, was planning to launch my second Heyward the Horse children’s picture book. I shelved the book for the time being and began to look for new ways to help my clients and bolster my revenue stream. 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve developed three new “pivot projects” that are gaining traction in the marketplace. 

1. Monthly Photo Subscription. Just about every business is generating content for their website, social media channels or email campaigns. One of the challenges is finding and creating great images. Stock photos can look like, well, stock photos. Plus, you don’t want to use all the same stock images everyone else in your industry is using. 

For this client, I created a mix of photos, sketches and typographic images.

To solve that creative conundrum, I’ve launched a monthly photo subscription. You receive 10 custom images each month. These might be graphics with nice typography, hand-drawn sketches, or free (to you) curated stock photos. See the thumbnails above for examples. We’ll work together to determine what you need for your brand. You’ll stand out in your marketing with unique, customized images.

“Andrew Barton’s work has definitely helped me raise engagement on LinkedIn. He has this incredible talent for making intangible concepts come to life in fresh ways.”

Dr. Laura Camacho, Mixonian Institute

Price: 10 images/month for $500 (with a 3-month contract)

2. Animated Upgrade. Why not spice up your social media posts and email campaigns with a short animated video or icon? For example, I created this icon for the Charleston Beer Fest. But, instead of a static image promoting the festival’s food trucks, I developed an animated image. The result is more eye-catching. 

Static Post: Plain and boring

Animated Post: Shiny!

PRICE: Varies depending on complexity of image and animation. Shoot me an email to discuss your project.

3. Live Zoom Doodles. Raise your hand if you’ve been living in a Zoom room lately. We’re all spending more time in video meetings, and most events and training have shifted to virtual gatherings. They can be SO painful and boring, am I right?

And if you’re hosting a webinar, conference, or lengthy staff meeting, it can be tough to keep everyone’s attention. Zoom doodles to the rescue! 

Sample of my zoom doodle style.

Here’s how it works: I attend your webinar and take notes in the form of doodles. You can switch from your screen to mine so attendees can watch me doodle live. Depending on your preference, I can doodle freely or stick to your notes. At the end of the webinar, I’ll send you the artwork for you to use in your marketing efforts. 

PRICE: $150 / hour. 

These are three ways I’ve pivoted during COVID-19. While none of us could have anticipated something like a global pandemic, it has forced us all to innovate.

Which one of my pivot products can help your business? Email me to get started at

Have a great week,


Explainer Videos: From Complex to Clear

As a marketer, one of the key roles in my profession is to clearly communicate the client’s message. Believe it or not, it can be a real challenge to identify and articulate that message. Sometimes, the client doesn’t even know what their message is. This happens when they are so close to their work that they can’t envision what it’s like to learn about their product for the first time.

In some situations, particularly start-ups or new technology, the benefits they offer are enormous but hard to explain. Simplifying complex messages is one of my favorite parts of the job. And clients appreciate an outsider’s perspective as we work through the process. I ask them to (temporarily) let go of buzzwords and internal analogies in order to embrace a more “user-friendly” language. It requires an extra level of trust on their part.

I recently completed an animated explainer video for meQuilibrium. My challenge was turning their science and technology into something anyone could understand. As their Google listing summary says, they are an “engagement and performance platform that harnesses behavioral psychology to unleash your workforce resilience, agility, and full potential with a fascinating, yet complex product.” 


If you work in the HR space, you might be able to make sense of this paragraph. The rest of us, need a tl;dr. (pssst .. “tl;dr” is internet jive for “short summary”). Here is that summary in the form of an animated explainer format:

tl:dr They provide a “digital coaching platform” so your employees can be more resilient.

In our video-crazed age, explainer animations are a terrific way to demonstrate how a product works. A video like this can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to produce as we work through the process of writing, storyboarding, creating assets, animating, etc.

It’s an involved process, but the end result is a piece clients can use on their website, on social media, in email campaigns and even in sales meetings. And if I’ve done my job right, we’ve taken something complex and made it clear and simple.  

I was really pleased with how this video turned out, and so was the client. Wondering if an explainer video would work for your product or service? Let’s talk!

Have a great week,