Case Study: Facebook Ads with Cinemagraphs Score With Bowlers

More and more, brands are turning to micro video content like cinemagraphs to shape their digital advertising and social media strategies. Micro video content, especially without sound, captures audiences’ limited attention spans much faster compared to other formats. The Bowling Proprieters’ Association of America decided to adopt this approach for their property,, in hopes of driving higher engagement with their community. 

GoBowling Uses Facebook Ads

GoBowling connects bowling enthusiasts from around the world by sharing and celebrating the love for the game. Their website,, is a one-stop resource that allows users to identify bowling centres close to them, submit customer service inquiries and find tips, tricks and the latest news in the world of bowling. 

They identified an opportunity to grow their engagement through Facebook advertising because they had yet to maximize the full potential of any paid acquisition campaign on the platform. GoBowling thought that they could elevate their strategy with creative that followed Facebook’s ad recommendations.

This meant that the creative should:

  • Capture the viewer’s attention in less than 3 seconds
  • Perform well without the need for sound

Creating Cinemagraph Facebook Ads with Flixel Studios

GoBowling was amazed by the thumb-stopping power of cinemagraphs, which met the above criteria. They enlisted Flixel Studios, the creative arm of Flixel Photos, to develop a Facebook ad campaign that would drive traffic to US bowling centres during the holidays. They also wanted to develop meaningful conversations with their customer base with these Facebook ads.

GoBowling’s Facebook Ads Campaign

Flixel Studios produced three cinemagraph ad concepts around the theme of “fun, friendships and thrills”. These ads appeared in front of two types of audiences: 1) lookalike audiences using e-mails collected over time, and 2) those with an affinity towards bowling. The Facebook ads campaign ran across 27 days, resulting in over 2.95 million impressions and incredible growth for both their click-through rate and relevance scores. 


Thumb-stopping Ad Content Engages and Wows Audiences

One of the three ad creatives proved to capture both the audiences eyes and minds more than the others, resulting in 2.15 million impressions. The ad depicted a child who was about to roll a bowling ball down the alley, surrounded by family that was completely still. Audiences were perplexed by the combination of both still and motion in the creative, and expressed their surprise in the comments when they realized how much time they spent watching and waiting for the bowling ball to be rolled.

This enthusiasm and engagement translated in the click-through to the link, with an average of 6.7% CTR on the link. It also impacted GoBowling’s brand awareness; they achieved a relevance score of 10 throughout the campaign.

“We were literally bowled over by how well the Flixel campaign worked. The ads drove traffic to our web site and that lead to real business for our bowling centres. Cinemagraphs work really well.”

John G. Harbuck, President and Chief Bowler,

Higher Engagement Drives Lower CTR costs

The other two cinemagraph ads helped GoBowling create a brand presence on Facebook; they achieved a relevance score of 9. They also contributed to the overall CTR for the whole campaign, which averaged at 6.33%. A higher relevance score resulted in lower CPMs; every link click averaged at a cost of only 19 cents.

The results of the GoBowling campaign serve as compelling evidence for any business looking to use cinemagraphs in their Facebook and Instagram campaigns. 

Connect with Flixel Studios

If you’re looking to hire an experienced agency to create cinemagraphs and other types of dynamic content for a campaign, look no further then the team at Flixel Studios, who have worked with mega companies such as A&E, Disney, Facebook, HBO, Instagram, Marriott, Mashable, Panasonic, PepsiCo, TED, Turner Networks and more. Learn more here. 

You can also read other cinemagraph case studies from Microsoft, PepsiCo and inkbox.

(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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