The What And Why To Cinemagraphs

If you keep up with the ever-evolving digital trends, you’ll know that video plays a highly important role in current marketing tactics. However, as much as videos are a must, we’re seeing the invention of the cinemagraph growing in popularity too.

The What, Why and How To Cinemagraphs | Kanuka Digital

This post will take you through the what, why and how to use cinemagraphs to enhance your marketing efforts.

What Is A Cinemagraph?

A cinemagraph is a still photo in which a minor and repeated movement occurs, forming a short video clip.

Cinemagraphs are usually published in GIF or mp4 format. As of this, you can easily embed them into blog posts and social content.

For top-quality, optimised cinemagraphs. These are best suited to HTML5 as these can be displayed at a much higher quality and in smaller file sizes, making them perfect for on-site content.

History of the Cinemagraph

A cinemagraph, as we know today, was first created in early 2011 by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg who then coined the term “cinemagraph” in March that year. These now appear online, on television and in many advertising campaigns due to being simple, yet effective.

However, Flixel, a tool used specifically to create cinemagraphs conducted research that highlighted David Bowie may have been the true creator…

Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” music video, which was released in 1980, contained something that looked highly like a cinemagraph in minutes 0.33 and 1:25.

“Cinemagraphs could be the work of the unshakeably talented David Bowie: an iconic artist whose vast and diverse oeuvre can only be described as transcendent.”

Why Use A Cinemagraph?

Cinemagraphs are a lot shorter than most videos. Containing short animations of a still image, rather than a complete moving image. They’re interesting to look at and easily enhance content without requiring the costly, lengthy process to create a high-quality video.

So, similar to video, cinemagraphs are perfect for diversifying a social feed or blog post. Giving the user a different medium to gain information from and catching users’ eyes when scrolling through a busy feed.

Let’s take a look at the many other reasons why you should use cinemagraphs in your marketing strategy:

Many big brands are using them

As they’re fairly simple to create, they shouldn’t be something smaller brands shy away from. It’s important to make the most of them in order to align yourself with some of these bigger brands. To help increase your brand awareness and get noticed for all the right reasons.

Image source: for client, Armani.

Social sites automatically play video content

With auto-play and auto-looping featuring on many social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, it makes the perfect place to incorporate your new cinemagraph.

Many users are drawn to video content, more so than plain text or basic imagery. Hence, with cinemagraphs automatically playing as the user scrolls through the feed. They’re likely to catch the user’s eye and give you increased exposure, brand awareness and overall, more interest in your products and brand.

Highly engaging medium of content

Cinemagraphs are the ideal medium to drive engagement at a lot higher rates than static images.

Flixel, a tool used to create cinemagraphs, carried out a study that showed by using cinemagraphs in content can help to generate 5.6x higher click-through rates when compared to still images.


Tell great stories to your customers

Cinemagraphs capture a specific moment in time with part of that moment being brought to life. This gives your viewer an insight into what was happening without the guesswork required with a still photo or oppositely, the time to watch a long video clip.

When done right, marketers can capture a special moment with their cinemagraph. Which can focus the audience’s attention on a specific product, brand or experience that you’re selling. In other words, they’re great for connecting with your users whilst getting them to think.

Gilt Taste Cinemagraph | Kanuka Digital


Now you know that cinemagraphs are something you must take advantage of to help your brand get ahead of the game, you’ll want to know how to create them.

For graphic-savvy individuals. Creating cinemagraphs is easily done through clever editing of video content, altering the time frames and more on programmes like Adobe Photoshop.

However, for beginners, there are tools like Flixel that are great for users with only basic graphic design skills. You can read how to create cinemagraphs with Flixel, here.

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To find out more about how we can enhance your marketing strategy with cinemagraphs or other marketing tactics, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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