The (unofficial) definition of cinemagraph is, “a still photograph in which a minor and repeated movement occurs” according to Wikipedia. The art of meshing photography and videography together was pioneered by photographers Kevin Burg and Jaime Beck in 2011 who invented the term cinemagraph.
Images with looping movement are eye catching, interesting, and noticeable. From my personal experience, I have not seen many cinemagraphs used in the advertising world, but I think it’s a huge possibility.
Michael Aaron Flicker authored an article on AdvertisingAge stating ways that he believes advertisers can use cinemagraphs to tell a story to their viewers. First, keep the cinemagraph “short, sweet, and meaningful”. A pouring drink, a flickering fireplace, or a breeze blowing through a model’s hair would all be appropriate.
Second, tell a story with the movement. Take a typical photograph of a vacationer lounging on the beach; now add movement in the waves to make the viewer actually feel as if they are at the beach. A small movement goes a long way.
One significant benefit for advertisers is that the cost is likely to be lower than that of a video advertisement. Cinemagraphs are essentially an animated GIF.
With that, I would love to see more cinemagraph’s in the future as I scroll through my web browser. Maybe one day cinemagraph will even get an official definition!