You’ve probably seen one in the last year. It probably tricked your eye and made you look twice, or three times, or four. But you probably didn’t know what it was.
Such is the power of “cinemagraphs,” images that combine static photography and video into one. Generally only one or two small elements are moving – like a scarf in the wind or bubbles in a beer glass. A cinemagraph is either a video or .GIF file that repeats, depending on how it is created. The digital marketing industry leaders at Hubspot named cinemagraphs as the design trend of 2015.
Fashion photographers Kevin Bury and Jamie Beck developed cinemagraphs in 2011, and for several years they were only popular in the fashion industry. However, in the last few months, Cinemagraphs have become very popular on Facebook for all types of industries because they have high engagement rates. Cinemagraphs trick the eye with only parts of the image moving, which causes our brains to look more closely at the image to make sense of it. Because of that, they have five times the click through rate as still images.
As an early adopter of new technologies and strategies, Verdin launched its first cinemagraph campaign on behalf of the Morro Bay Tourism Bureau in the summer of 2015. As expected, engagement, comments and shares out-performed similar ads with still imagery.
Here are some tips to help you create a cinemagraph for your business:
1. High quality cinemagraphs require special software programs (i.e. Flixel) and particular videography techniques.
2. The best cinemagraphs imagine a still photograph coming to life in a subtle way. The image portions that move should be directly related to the goal of the advertisement. If your business sells hair products, highlight beautiful hair that moves in the cinemagraph.
3. Don’t make too many things move simultaneously, or it will appear as a video advertisement. Movement should be unexpected against some elements that are not moving.
4. Since cinemagraphs loop seamlessly, pick elements that will appear organic and continuous. Movement that is jerky or abrupt is not enjoyable for the viewer. Some experts agree that human movement is the most difficult to make look organic and not ideal for cinemagraphs.
Next time you are surfing the web or engaging on social media, pause to look closely and you will undoubtedly start noticing the popularity of cinemagraphs. We encourage you to explore some creative ways to use this new hybrid technology for your business to stand out from the clutter and the crowd.