PepsiCo Test Cinemagraphs in Facebook Ads

PepsiCo Sees Thumb-Stopping Results from Cinemagraphs Created by Flixel Studios

Given their incredible brand presence around the globe and ever-expanding food and beverage product lines, PepsiCo is well-versed in how to generate top-of-mind positioning amongst their consumers. With their new lemon-lime beverage Mist Twst, they wanted to stay true to the brand’s mission of exposing people to dynamic stories and experiences with a new approach in Facebook advertising. Learn how PepsiCo put a twist on their strategy with cinemagraphs.


PepsiCo turned to cinemagraphs — a visual medium that blends photo and video in magical new ways — as an alternative to still photos in their campaign for Mist Twst. Aware of their thumb-stopping power and low production costs, PepsiCo decided to compare cinemagraphs against still photo ads on Facebook in a split A/B test to see how they would impact their engagement and contribute to their larger brand awareness story.

Still Photos vs. Cinemagraph A/B Test Targeting

The PepsiCo Digital Team identified close to 1.1 million individuals in the United States that fit their target demographic profile and served ads on desktop and mobile news feeds on Facebook. To setup a control and treatment group, the campaign budget was evenly split among a cinemagraph and a still frame from the same video with identical targeting parameters.

The campaign spanned a combined 5.62 million impressions over the course of eight days, resulting in cinemagraphs coming out on top — and us wiping our glasses to see if we misread the decimal place.

Cinemagraphs outperform still photos in ads

CTR and Engagement Go Up; Video Engagement Stands Out

As it turned out, our vision was great. PepsiCo saw incredible lifts as a result of their cinemagraph ad, including:

  • Increased click through rates: Ads using cinemagraphs saw a 75% lift in overall click through rates over image based ads. The still photo ad saw a 0.27% CTR vs a 0.47% CTR on the cinemagraph.
  • Increased Engagement: Facebook measures engagement in way that also accounts for video views on top of likes, comments and shares, and cinemagraphs saw a phenomenal 51X lift in engagement owing to it.
  • Of the people who chose to watch the video, 22% of them chose to stay and watch the whole 12 second cinemagraph loop, pointing to the other big advantage of longer dwell times found in living photos.

“The cinemagraph ad was thumb-stopping and delivered amazing results. Moving forward, we’ll recommend continued use of this new medium to promote our brands.”

Kelli McIntosh, Senior Marketing Manager, Digital Customer Solutions, PepsiCo

With Facebook now supporting auto-looping and auto-playing videos on News Feed, cinemagraphs have quickly become the perfect low-cost and high-impact medium to replace still photo based Facebook ads. PepsiCo’s results mirror other A/B tests that have been done by large enterprises like Microsoft and small businesses such as Toronto-based startup inkbox.

Download a PDF version of the full PepsiCo case study here.

(Marketing Specialist at Flixel)

Mehek crafts words, content, events and more for Flixel. She firmly believes that life is not life without a little spice, which is why she adds Sriracha to everything.


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