This is a case study based around designing a cinemagraph advertisement for our recent client, Print Palace. This case study will cover the process of conceptualizing, sketching, and eventually creating the advertisement.
Print Palace is a company that specializes in affordable, eco-efficient print and framing solutions. Founded by Omaré Baeg in 2016, Print Palace has had a quite strong run as an online-only retailer. Now the year is 2022, and Omaré is looking to expand the Palace’s reach into a its first physical storefront in the heart of Rhode Island. In light of this opening, Print Palace seeks to have an ad constructed for the use of their social medias. While they haven’t been very active on social media, this is something they plan on changing in a big way.
At the moment, short form content is everywhere. Social media sites like tiktok, instagram, and even youtuve have harbored a very infectious form of content that tends to suck in viewers for hours on end. What makes something like tiktok so addictive is its algorithms ability to tailor the content towards each individual user and what they want to see. A method like this will keep engagement high, and with that comes the strong likelihood of receiving ads on these platforms. Like the content on these platforms, the ads are usually much shorter in length depending on the platform. This is convenient as usually these ads aren’t skippable, and with the being so short it allows for the user to absorb the message quickly without being too annoyed their stories were interrupted.
When creating very short and eye-catching advertisements, we wanted something that would particularly spread awareness of the brand. The simplest and most effective approach in our eyes was to create a cinemagraph.
What is a Cinemagraph?
According to Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck, the two who coined the term cinemagraph in early 2011; “a cinemagraph is a living image – a still photograph that contains an element of movement looped seamlessly to create a never ending-moment.” It is also worth noting that both Jamie and Kevin had brought cinemagraphs into the mainstream, with there only being one known instance of a cinemagraph being used beforehand. This was done by none-other than David Bowie in his music video for “Ashes to Ashes” all the way back in 1980. While I have to assume Kevin and Jamie weren’t the first to do this based off of this account, there is also no denying their ability to revolutionize the way we take photographs through their innovative take using modern technology and purposes. Without them we may not have cinemagraphs today, but I digress.
Why Choose a Cinemagraph?
The engagement a cinemagraph provides over a static image is the primary reason to use a cinemagraph. They allow the ability to cut directly to the point of an advert while allowing what would be a traditionally static image a sort of life it wouldn’t have otherwise. It doesn’t waste our users time drawing out an elaborate storyline or plot point. The best way we can catch our user’s attention is through something visually interesting or satisfying. This is done beautifully through a lot of big-name brands, one being Starbucks, which happens to have a certain affinity towards those sorts of advertisements.
After a bit of brainstorming, we had begun sketching out some different ideas. The primary idea we had was to use a form of the brands newly updated style in order to design a popup style advertisement floating within the foreground. This would be in front of a still wall as a backdrop. The idea is to have different picture frames along the perimeter of our advertisement to act as another dynamic element. We had presented this as sort of an open-ended idea, as in our eyes it could be reused in a lot of different ways or iterations to spice up the brands advertising variety. For example, different images within the frames, different popup ads being used with different designs/type, etc.This is when I sort of hit a roadblock, as a lot of the scenes I was trying to capture through physical photography weren’t coming out how I had wanted. I’m a very novice photographer. This made me have to think a bit outside the box in order to make this work. My solution was to use some assets off of envato. Envato is a subscription-based service that offers a plethora of assets for all things graphic design. Trust me, these aren’t your run of the mill assets, these are truly very high quality, and I almost couldn’t tell the scene I constructed was not a real scene at all. This also helped my process as I was going to utilize cinema 4D in order to create this finalized advertisement. This was a pretty straightforward process, but my god the rendering time was awful. After watching paint dry, I was quite pleased with how it came out and sent it through for some feedback. Just for some full context, here is the final product.
Our client loved it. They immediately began deploying it throughout their socials. They even tagged us which was greatly appreciated considering we never even spoke about that. It has since been about a month, and their social media engagement has been higher than ever, accomplishing what they had hoped to achieve with the ad.
In conclusion, this was a massive success. The ad, as well as this newly developed customer relationship, the first of many to come. This was truly a very fun and eye opening project, and I can’t wait to do more work with this client in the future.