Pinterest Revamps its Advertising with Visual Storytelling

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As almost every social network has either experimented or implemented high impact, visual storytelling strategies for advertising, it only makes sense that Pinterest is finding its way into the game. The network, popular among consumers for its instantaneous doses of inspiration, has now intrigued marketers with Cinematic Pins, a motion-activated visual ad that users will begin to see over the coming months. And following in the footsteps of Facebook, who’s every feature or algorithm update is built with the consumer in mind, Pinterest has carefully designed its Cinematic Pins to be non-disruptive to the user.

The experience is meant to feel more intuitive – meaning, the user is able to control it through the physical scrolling movement, up and down the Pinterest feed. It gives users more freedom in how, and at what level they want to engage with the content. Different from Facebook’s auto-play ads, that are less popular because of their interruptive qualities, Cinematic Pins are more subtle.

How significant is this development?

Though Pinterest does not necessarily have the largest audience among social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, the network houses a demographic that is particularly attractive to marketers. Millennials are very keen to Pinterest, and it’s no secret that this age category is the most sought after group of consumers. Pinterest users are also highly engaged and creative, and are constantly seeking to be inspired by branded content.

All this being said, the introduction of Cinematic Pins is a very significant development for marketers, particularly those challenged by how to appropriately reach audiences through mobile. Motion ads offer a way to cut through all of the content noise, in order to more effectively gain the attention of users that typically scroll quickly through their Pinterest feeds. The ‘thumb-stopping’ content is quick to digest, and has the potential to grab consumer attention immediately, without being overly pushy. Experts say that the average American’s attention span is only about 8 seconds, and that time grows shorter and shorter as consumers continually evolve their online behavior. This makes it imperative for marketers to engage users within the first 3 seconds, whether in the form of traditional video advertising or ‘looping’ videos like Cinematic Pins. In fact, these motion ads may hold a slight advantage over other video formats, because of their unique ability to grab the attention right away.

If successful, Cinematic Pins may have a similar impact on users as the GIF video format did for those on Tumblr. Playful, entertaining and easy to consume ad formats such as these are well received in an audience that seeks to be inspired, but gravitates to content that engages them instantaneously.

Remember your audience:

One potential pitfall is that advertisers may not appropriately tailor their Cinematic Pin content to fit the Pinterest channel. It will be important for marketers to keep in mind that Pinterest, at its core, is about providing content that inspires. As long as content aligns with this value, marketers should be able to take full advantage of this latest ad format.

For more insight on Cinematic Pins, check out our Social Media Director’s commentary in Mobile Marketer.

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