We all like to look at photos and videos that are pretty, stimulating, interesting or emotionally moving. This is even more true online, where our quick clicks into the digital matrix overwhelm us with ads, videos, animations and rotating image libraries. The repetitive nature of stock images and videos invite us to ignore them over time and with that, we block out the brand too. If you’re looking for a fresh, different visual approach to help your messages stand out from the noise and competition, here’s a captivating technique to try: cinemagraphs.

Part moving picture, part still image – the effect is mesmerizing. A well-executed cinemagraph can create a memorable and sharable online experience.


On social media, where you want users to engage with you, cinemagraphs are an excellent way to break up the routine of text, photo, video. They engage the user, much like video can, except the viewer doesn’t have to commit to watching a full video.

Same is true on your website. A cinemagraph can be used in place of a scrolling banner image, or within the body of your blogs and other thought leadership pieces. It can help keep users on your website, telling a story about your brand quickly and elegantly.

The cinemagraph has even made its debut on the big screen TV in the latest Pizza Hut commercial, where this AdWeek article describes the effect as hypnotic. I would have to agree.


Visual storytelling should be at the heart of your cinemagraph. Whether you’re trying to create a laugh or get a user to take action, it’s not just about putting a photo and video together. You’re trying to get the viewer to stop in their social-scrolling tracks. The power is in the slight movements that draw the eye to small details. Take our two examples.

Below, we see GiGi, our ambassador of the Greteman Group brand. With our focus and specialty in aviation, we’re often looking toward the sky for opportunities. In this case, GiGi is prominently placed with the clouds zooming overhead. To us, it gives the sense of forward movement and forward thinking.

Greteman Group Brand Cinemagraph - GiGi With Clouds

In the featured image above, it shows how a certain subtlety can create a fascinating experience. GiGi’s only movement is an understated blink. It’s just enough that while reading this blog, you might glance up and think, “Did she move?” Soft movements like this keep the eye wandering around the image, looking for more clues to the visual mystery.


Beyond having multiple uses for your social media and websites, cinemagraphs are a cost-effective way to add stunning visuals to your content. A great way to start: use photos and videos that you already have. If a photo is worth a thousand words, then maybe a cinemagraph is worth 10,000. Get out there and create your next visual showstopper.