Take Another Look: The Compelling Power of Cinemagraphs

by Debra Fitzgerald, MVP and Executive Creative Director, West Cary Group, and Blair Keeley, EVP, Chief Brand Officer, West Cary Group

Mesmerizing and visually arresting, a cinemagraph is an elegant marketing solution that can amplify the engagement level of email or social media campaigns. It’s a beautiful hybrid of videography, cinematography and photography in which a small moment in time is captured, animated and experienced anew.

Note that through careful manipulation of video, the resulting photograph is dreamlike and disruptive, and the viewer is captivated. It’s why progressive brands are incorporating this technique into their digital campaigns.

But it’s not just artistry that entices brands to harness the power of cinemagraphs; businesses are compelled by a movement. Year after year, online communications are becoming increasingly more visually oriented. The digital asset management service WebDAM predicts that 84 percent of communications will be visual in less than two years.

In the wake of this ocular evolution, cinemagraphs are taking hold, and consumers are responding. According to AdAge, cinemagraphic content boasts a 71 percent higher organic reach than still photographs. Email Institute reports that incorporating cinemagraphs or animated GIFs in an email generates a 26 percent increase in click-through rates.

Seeing is Believing

Last year, when Australian automaker GM Holden wanted to reach more customers through online channels for its Cascada launch, the company turned to a cinemagraph campaign via Instagram. As of this July, Cascada had the highest brand awareness results of any Instagram automobile campaign – including a 30-point lift in ad recall and a nine-point lift in ad awareness and favorability.

When the cinemagraph software and services company Flixel created a banner ad for Panasonic’s Lumix cameras, it was clicked on 60 percent more than the static version. But that’s par for the course. CEO and co-founder Mark Homza says the company has created cinemagraph ads for other companies that have measured up to 80 percent better performance.

For West Cary Group’s part, we were able to help a client increase audience reach by integrating cinemagraphs into a voting campaign. When urging Facebook users to cast their ballots for a fan favorite in an art design competition, one cinemagraph reached 10 times the audience of a still photo promoting the same campaign – and was viewed over 1,400 times. 

West Cary Group's cinemagraph promoting voting for a fan favorite contest

West Cary Group's cinemagraph promoting voting for a fan favorite contest

Set Your Sights

A cinemagraph may seem like a simple premise: Capture the steadiest of videos, isolate a frame and then finesse a subtle element to animate and move in repetition. But don’t be fooled. When it’s skillfully executed, the outcome from this process of artistic refinement is nothing short of visually arresting. The emotional impact is heightened, and brand recall is enhanced.

West Cary Group knows firsthand that cinemagraphs are a powerful tool that can help brands cut through the marketing clutter, reach more consumers and extend their visual vocabulary. Not to mention they can do this all at a lower price point than videos.

If you, too, are convinced that the simple sophistication of cinemagraphs can heighten your brand story and enhance your business, then reach out to West Cary Group. We’re ready to discuss how to take your digital campaign to the next level with images that dazzle and deliver results. 

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