Cinemagraphs Hit TV With This New Pizza Hut Commercial

The part-photo, part-video format has branched out from social media to the traditional ad space.

Over the last while the proliferation of cinemagraphs has been unmistakable. You can’t scroll thru Facebook or Twitter without catching one. Even the new iPhones want to make your pictures move.


So it should come as no surprise that cinemagraph software firm Flixel is claiming this new Pizza Hut spot is the first-ever TV ad created with the format. The ad is running during truTV’s Billy on the Street, and a Flixel spokesperson says the network approached the company to create an alternative to the standard video commercials. The ad, created using a combination of Flixel apps and traditional animation software, plays for 10 seconds during the show as a lead-in to a full Pizza Hut commercial.

Back in October, Flixel announced a deal with Shutterstock, and the company says this year it passed 1 million downloads for its Cinemagraph Pro software on Mac and iOS.

At the time of the Shutterstock deal, Flixel co-founder and CEO Philippe LeBlanc told Co.Create that the biggest boost for cinemagraphs has been autoplaying video Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. “That was a game-changer for cinemagraphs in general over the last year,” said LeBlanc. “Because even though it feels like a photo it’s leveraging video technology, so autoplay makes it feel much more natural.”

The company’s Flixel Studios works with brands like the Emmys, A&E’s Bates Motel, Mercedes-Benz, and others. “We do the creative, but we also sell the software so brands can use their own creative,” said LeBlanc. “The studio side is good for brands looking for custom shoots and full production, but agencies and brands can also use our software to create it themselves. Brands post a lot on social and our software allows them to create a lot of content really fast. The stock with Shutterstock is like stock photos or video, and we see this as a testament that this medium is here to stay.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.