The term cinemagraph was coined by U.S. photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, who used the technique to animate their fashion and news photographs beginning in early 2011

However, in the last couple of years, the idea of cinemagraphs has now exploded in brands.

Firstly, let me show you what a cinemagraph is, so you understand what it is we’re talking about.



It is effectively, a stunning photograph, with an element, sometimes two of them that continue to move / loop in the image.  This strikes into the brain an almost, WHAT THE HELL moment, as it assumes it’s a photograph and then see’s that it isn’t.

How often do you watch a person scrolling through their social media on their phones with their thumb, not really giving a care in the world about what they’re seeing.

Now more than ever, you need to create regular content for your business that will make people stop and stare at what you’ve created.  “I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again.” said Simon Scholes, Founder of Perception Studios:

Great Cinemagraphs

If what you’ve got to say is truly eye catching, and makes a person stop in their tracks, then that’s the result you want, and honestly, that’s not likely to happen with a text based posting that doesn’t grab someones attention.

Now take the idea of cinemagraphs.  They help increase retention times on that piece of social media content, and probably more importantly, help to increase interactivity on it too.  What’s the point in posting things constantly online if you’re not getting any traction or comeback on what you’re posting.

In plain terms :





Obviously this means they perform exceptional well on your social media.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (WHICH YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT USING), and they all loop cinemagraphs too.

Organically these perform so well.  So for example, Pepsi recently did some A&B testing on a piece of content they created.  They post a cinemagraph and the same thing as a still photo, the cinemagraph performed 5000% better, and once you see your cinemagraph performing so well, you can then start to push money into the campaign and force your brand & business in front of more eyes yet again.

The most important thing about a cinemagraph is the main element, and that’s a great photograph.

How many times do you see people scrolling through their social media channels on their phones.  So your content has to get past all the noise they’re already seeing as they scroll, so a standard photo is brilliant, but, it’s not enough to make the mind stop and think, but, if someone sees a great photograph and suddenly something is also moving within it, this really goes from being a standard piece of content, through to being a real stand out piece of creative and increases that interactivity.

A bowling company in the states tried doing cinemagraphs to increase the visitors to their alley over the Christmas period.  Their click through rate massively increased, their relevance rating hit a 10 out of 10 and the actual cinema graph hit over 2 million sets of eyeballs

You can also put them onto your website as well.  Everyone is being told video is the way forward, and something I preach is, it MUST be the right content for you.  However, if this is the right content to be using, you can use them on your website, they’re small files so load quickly, so won’t effect your website performance, and people get the message extra quickly as it’s a still designed to capture their attention, not a showcase video designed to show more.


So, think about those fantastic results you get on social media, and now add that creativity to your email campaigns.  You can insert cinemagraphs (as a gif) into your email campaigns, and can help draw people right into your email content.


So, something we see a lot on the high street now are brands and businesses using digital displays.  However, a majority of brands use purely stills on the displays, it’s very rare on the high street you’ll see a brand using film, and more specifically cinemagraphs.  For example, local to me, Toni & Guy use a digital display in their window.  The screen looks amazing, and the actual photos they use on the loop, are incredible pictures, but, imagine the power and the attention those photos would get if they where a cinema graph, the models hair being blown about, the sheen being lit on the hair of the model, even a cinemagraph of hair being cut and continuously falling from the models hair.

So, if you’d like to know how cinemagraphs could help your brand, and how we can help you produce them, speak to our Founder & Creative Director, Simon Scholes and he’ll talk you through the process.