Micro videos – introducing cinemagraphs

We’re always looking out for ways we can add value when filming, whether it’s creating a series of 20 -30 second micro clips for use on social channels, creating podcasts, 360 filming, incorporating drone footage or something a bit more quirky. One of our favourite, fun ways to do this is to create a cinemagraph, delivered as a high res micro video for use on websites, social media, digital screens, TV, film screens and elsewhere.

You’ve probably seen cinemagraphs on Instagram and Pinterest, on advertising billboards or in trailers for some of your favourite films or TV series or brands. The technique has been around since at least 2008 but has grown in interest since 2011 when US photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck used it in their fashion and news photography.

Over the last few years the use of cinemagraphs has taken off and moved into mainstream internet content – for advertising and marketing, art and entertainment. For individuals there are plenty of apps available to make it easy without needing to know the technical techniques and details. When we create video for clients we often create a few cinemagraphs from the main footage.

Cinemagraphs are powerful marketing tools, great for incorporating into your social media strategy to increase engagement and linger time and to create a little ‘wow’ and added interest. Done well, a good cinemagraph captures the attention and imagination, makes the viewer linger longer, and brings a little bit of magic.

If you’re not familiar with what a cinemagraph is, the most basic way to describe it is that it’s a digital image that includes both still and moving parts. Sections of the image are still – like a photograph and other sections include small, repeated movements. The moving elements are on a seamless loop, created to contrast with the stillness of the rest of the image. It’s a fascinating hybrid combining two great mediums to offer a different and enhanced visual experience.

Cimemagraphs are useful for direct marketing, for including in blog posts, on social media as organic content, promoted posts and ads, and to increase dwell time on your page. They’re also useful to promote specific products or experiences, or to highlight specific aspects of a product or brand in a subtle and fresh way. Big brands including Nike, Coca Cola, Chanel, Netflix and many others are using this format to create visually stylish and engaging content, particularly for Instagram but across social channels.

Here are just a few of our favourite cinemagraphs including a couple of simple examples we’ve created for clients.

It’s from 2017 but still a favourite – Netflicks’ Stranger Things trailer.

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Nothing was ever going back to normal. @StrangerThingsTV season 2. October 27.

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Toronto based tech company Flixel who specialise in cinemagraphs have (not surprisingly) some great examples. Here are a couple to get you in the holiday mood!




In case you need to cool down, we like this one by Coca Cola


Travel, food and drink and luxury brands are also getting in on the action.

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For the perfect pour, pour a Budweiser. #ThisBudsForYou

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Closer to home, we created a couple of cinemagraphs for Renfrewshire Leisure., as part of a wider video campaign to promote their facilities.

Over 11k views

Over 9k views

Another example was as part of a series of 12 Maker films promoting the work of the craftsmen and women involved in the restoration of the iconic original Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Willow Tea Rooms Building in Glasgow. This one shows Master BlackSmith Alan Dawson at work.

Looking forward, the future is bright for increased interest in using cinemagraphs and how this format and technique will evolve. With the ease and accessibility of mobile device cameras it’s now easier than ever before to shoot, edit and share photos and video. Micro videos and micro moments have taken off – with the ability to capture a few seconds of video to instantly share. However, cinemagraphs take video further by capturing our imagination and adding a little bit of ‘magic’, allowing us to experience the moment in a way that neither a still photograph nor video does. It doesn’t replace either but is a great added value piece alongside other media or as a standalone piece. The format can be combined with 360 video and virtual reality and other visual applications to create truly mesmerising visuals. The possibilities are exciting!

To find out more about how can use video and cinemagraphs contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss.


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