While browsing the Red website this week, something caught my eye. Not in the way that something might leap off the page; rather, just a glimmer of unexpected movement.
As I looked closer I discovered that what distracted me was a handbag gently swinging from a model’s hand, and I realised that this was the first time I’d experienced a cinemagraph put to genuine use, rather than reading an article about why they’re awesome.
Well, I’m now convinced that they are awesome, and that one day they’ll transform flashing banner adverts into the subtle and elegant messages that they have the potential to be.
For those who don’t know, a cinemagraph is a still image with an isolated animated element, like eyes blinking or leaves blowing. However, upon trying to insert one of these banners into my own post, I discovered that the Red examples are in fact video files so I couldn’t manage to share one (they should be in gif format when created properly). But I urge you to visit the Red website while they’re still live and take a look for yourself!
If you happen to read this post and they’ve disappeared from the Red website, then below is beautiful example from the people who invented the process, Cinemagraphs TM.
The thing I found most curious about the cinemagraphs on Red however, wasn’t the file format, but the content that they’re promoting and linking to. While I expected to be sent to the House of Fraser website, instead I was lead me to an article about Lauren Ralph Lauren (stocked by HOF).
Where’s the conversion in that?
At the bottom of the article is a shopping feed, but that doesn’t even work efficiently because the customer has to scroll through the items and can only click on the central one, rather than the three displayed at any given time. Even linking to a full ‘edit’ category in the HOF website would have seemed more practical to me.
It’s a shame that the teams at Red and House of Fraser have gone to so much effort to create this lovely content yet haven’t optimised it to gain revenue, but regardless I think its a gorgeous and forward-thinking effort!