Online communication, particularly via social media, is gradually becoming more visual. And with that comes an increasing number of ways to hit people in the eyes with something beautiful. 

Not literally, of course. You can get arrested for that sort of thing.

More interesting than a photo and less-annoying than an autoplay video, cinemagraphs are fast making a name for themselves in the world of digital marketing. 

If you’ve not come across them before, they’re essentially just photographs that contain moving elements. You may have seen a few of them popping up in my branded Instagram video round-ups recently.

But rather than trying to explain what they are, it seems more appropriate to show you in this case, so I’ve included 30 of my favourite cinemagraphs in this post in the hope of inspiring your own creations.

The first four are from brands...

Stuart Weitzman

Mr Porter


Christian Louboutin

But some of the most creative examples I’ve seen come from individuals, and I’ve included a few of my favourites below.

I’ve linked to all the sources within the images, so please show the creators some love if you like what you see. 

These skateboarders

skateboarders cinemagraph

This woman's reflection in a puddle

woman next to puddle cinemagraph

This person filming a light show on their phone

Light show on phone cinemagraph

This barn owl in the snow

barn owl in snow cinemagraph

The flowers spinning in this woman's hands

flowers spinning in woman's hands cinemagraph

This man applying makeup to a model

man applying makeup to a model cinemagraph

This hooded man watching a train go by

hooded man watching train cinemagraph

This canvas that looks like it's coming alive

crow on canvas painting cinemagraph

These clouds above Hwaseong Fortress in South Korea

clouds above Suwon Hwaseong Fortress in South Korea

This tribute to victims of the Paris attacks

paris attacks tribute cinemagraph

This dog's eyebrows

dog on bed cinemagraph

This deserted jetty

deserted jetty cinemagraph

Somebody flicking the moon out of the New York night sky

flicking the moon cinemagraph 

This time lapse of a Chicago highway at night 

chicago at night cinemagraph

This strangely satisfying lava

lava cinemagraph

The silhouettes of these trees in a lightning storm

trees under lightning storm cinemagraph

This lighthouse behind a lake

lighthouse behind a lake cinemagraph

These waterfalls in a forest

waterfalls in a forest cinemagraph

This epic Mordor depiction

Mordor cinemagraph

This creative idea for an Inception movie poster

Inception movie poster cinemagraph

This endless stream of people and trains

people and trains cinemagraph

The water cascading down this bank

water flowing down river bank cinemagraph

This oddly tranquil tornado

tornado cinemagraph

This never-ending underground train

neverending underground train cinemagraph

This water flowing away from some mountains

water flowing away from mountains cinemagraph

This woman standing on the shore watching the sunset

woman watching sunset from shore cinemagraph

Jack Simpson

Published 10 February, 2016 by Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

252 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (4)

Robert Lendvai

Robert Lendvai, VP Marketing at Flixel Photos Inc.

No post about cinemagraphs and their growing popularity as a new visual medium for brand strategists is complete without a primer on how to create them.

over 2 years ago

Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson, Writer at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

Thanks, @Robert - was thinking of doing a follow-up post along those lines if people show an interest in this one.

over 2 years ago


Sam McMillen, Digital Executive at Thakeham

I love this - thank you

over 2 years ago


willemien den oudsten, ceo at dutch design company

Hi Jack, did you notice that Cinemagraph and the Flixel Community is growing very fast. Am one of the Flixel freaks check it out and

about 1 year ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.