How Brands Use Cinemagraphs to Capture Audience Attention



From mesmerizing movements to compelling contexts, cinemagraphs offer a bold and innovative approach to telling brand stories. Situated somewhere in between a video and a still image, this emerging visual platform is a perfect fit for brands that want to establish a unique presence on social platforms.

Although the glamorous, artistic appearance of a cinemagraph seems most suitable for luxury brands, companies in a wide range of industries are finding creative ways to take advantage of this platform.

If you think your brand could benefit from this new technique, read on to learn how brands use cinemagraphs to capture audience attention and boost brand awareness.

Why Cinemagraphs Are Great For Brands

GIFs, short videos and cinemagraphs first gained popularity on sites like Reddit and tumblr. Back then, they were far from the minds of advertisers and brand managers.

However, Cinemagraphs became a sought-after advertising tool when a New York-based creative agency, Anne Street Studio, began creating moving images for brands such as Lincoln, Armani, and Christian Louboutin.

Comprised of Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, this two-person creative team is also responsible for coining the term cinemagraph.


Rather than being overtly promotional, strong Cinemagraphs capture a brand’s essence and help tell a story. This means that logos and brand slogans take a backseat so that products and brand storytelling can take center stage.

While product placement is important in cinemagraphs, the perspective of these products is even more critical.

The best brand cinemagraphs provide a unique context for the viewer, either by giving them a first person perspective or offering a glimpse into a certain lifestyle — both of which spark the consumer’s interest.

Read: Your Brand Isn’t Unique, But is it Distinct?

Due to the fact that products in the food and fashion industries are aesthetically pleasing by nature, brands in these industries have been the first to take advantage of the format.

To understand what makes a great cinemagraph, here are 4 examples of cinemagraphs that are truly well done.

Armani: Offering a New Perspective


As one installment in a fashion editorial series named “Seeing New York,” the team at Anne Street Studio created this cinemagraph of falling leaves in Central Park.

While this does clearly highlight the product, it also tells a story about who the Armani consumer is–a sophisticated New Yorker strolling the park on a crisp fall day.

But where is this person walking from? Where are they going? This cinemagraph is successful because it evokes a curiosity in the consumer and compels them to be part of this lifestyle.

Read: How a Creative Agency Crafts Branded Video Content

Christian Louboutin: Subtle Brand Placement

Similar to the Armani cinemagraph, Anne Street Studio created this Christian Louboutin image to offer a glimpse into the life of a luxury brand owner.

The subtle dangling of the keychain on the bag is a perfect example of how to incorporate a logo into a cinemagraph without being overly promotional. The perspective of this cinemagraph makes it seem as though it could almost be the user opening the purse.


Ecco Domani: Evoking a Lustful Lifestyle

This Italian wine brand has always appealed to young consumers and highlighted the joy of drinking wine.

With another great cinemagraph by Anne Street Studios, this imagery effectively echoes Ecco Domani’s brand statement by setting a realistic scene that entices wine drinkers and party planners alike.

Read: How Brands Can Win Fans With the New Instagram Ads

The gentle movement of the wine swirling in the glass is effective in the same way as the Louboutin purse, because it’s held by a hand that could almost be that of the viewer.


Heineken: Enticing Product Placement

As one of the first alcohol brands to create a cinemagraph, (this showed up as a .GIF on Reddit) we thought it was important to include this classic. Other alcohol brands such as Budweiser and Jameson have followed suit, and more are sure to follow.

The animation of a bottle pouring into a glass has become ubiquitous for beverage brands; however, this perspective is always successful because it appears as your glass of bubbling liquid. Who could resist?


Michelle Polizzi is the Content Coordinator at Brandfolder, a user-friendly tool for brand asset management. When she’s not busy creating content, you can find her bicycling around Denver or catching a live concert. She’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn.

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