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What are Cinemagraphs?

Design and advertising creative teams have been using cinemagraphs for a few years now to bring new life to static images. If you’re unsure of what they are, you’re not alone. We discuss what cinemagraphs are, how they are created, and why you should incorporate them into your content strategy.

What are cinemagraphs?

In a nutshell, cinemagraphs are still images with movement. It’s a subtle mix between video and images, with the cinemagraph taking the best ingredients from both mediums to create living photography.

A cinemagraph is not designed to be noisy or cluttered, nor will it action from auto-plays, pop-ups, or click-to-plays. The secret to their appeal is in their simplicity, which marks the beginning of a story and draw attention to what you want your target audience to focus on.

Cinemagraphs are a refreshing change from static images, and have been proven to increase engagement. When you highlight a feature that replicates what it does in real life, the photo will appear more organic, allowing the cinemagraph to loop seamlessly.

What are Cinemagraphs?

The difference between cinemagraphs and GIFs

Many argue that there is little difference between a cinemagraph and a GIF, however there are a few general guidelines which help separate the two.

  • A cinemagraph is known to isolate movement while the rest of the photo is immobile. A GIF, on the other hand, is usually a series of images on a loop.
  • A good cinemagraph gives the illusion that the photo is alive, rather than being on a loop. An example of this might be an image where the subject’s eyes are occasionally blinking or steam rising from a coffee cup – both are two things that happen naturally in real life.

Brands are embracing cinemagraphs

Brands like Chanel, Coca-Cola, and Tiffany & Co are using cinemagraphs to build intrigue and express their brands visual identity. Here are a few reasons why brands have fallen in love with cinemagraphs.

  1. Their bite-sized format allows the target audience to easily consume the content in a meaningful way
  2. They are creative and attention-grabbing without being overly annoying – an important thing to remember considering ad sentiment is currently low
  3. Cinemagraphs offer lower production costs compare to video
  4. If done well, cinemagraphs encourage a higher level of engagement

What are Cinemagraphs?

Where to use cinemagraphs

  • Social Media: With social media an integral element of your digital marketing strategy, it’s crucial to maintain a competitive edge. Cinemagraphs can cut through the wave of throwaway content in newsfeeds, increase levels of engagement, and encourage social sharing.
  • Banner Ads: When you’re competing with five other banner ads, it can be hard to generate interest. Panasonic recently tested a cinemagraph vs its still photo counterpart to determine which produced a higher CTR. The results? The cinemagraph proved 5.6X more effective.
  • Email: It can be hard to capture your target audience’s attention for more than a few seconds, especially with email. A way to improve this is through cinemagraphs. For example, the Netflix smash hit House of Cards used cinemagraphs in their email marketing campaigns for both season two and season three. Both went viral, proving how powerful living photographs can be.
  • Website: It’s more important than ever to create websites with intuitive, meaningful, and responsive design. Using cinemagraphs on your website is a simple and effective way of achieving this.

What are Cinemagraphs?

Want to use cinemagraphs as part of your content strategy, but don’t have the capacity to create them? We can help. We’re a digital and creative agency based in Brisbane, with team experienced in high-quality animated web design.

iFactory have had the pleasure of working with Australian and international brands – big and small - to develop their digital presence. Check out the work we’ve created for our clients.  Get in touch with us today to discuss your digital needs and join the growing list of brands who are flourishing online with iFactory. 

All images from CINEMAGRAPHS.COM 

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