Despite being one of the most popular social networks with an estimated 47.1 million monthly users, Pinterest hasn’t had luck with monetizing its service. On Tuesday, Pinterest announced the launch of Cinematic Pins (video ads), which is one way the company is hoping to change that luck.

Pinterest video ads

After a measured rollout of Promoted Pins, the social bookmarking network aims to give marketers full-funnel advertising solutions in the coming months. Pinterest video ads come more than a year after Pinterest first started selling Promoted Pins, and the changes are a big step for its ad technology. Brands will be able to target about a dozen audience types from foodies and gardening enthusiasts to millennials.


Pinterest’s take on the video ad is definitely a bit different from the video ads developed by rivals like Facebook and Twitter. Cinematic Pins are somewhat of a rebuke of what Pinterest describes as “interruptive and annoying” autoplay video ads. With Cinematic Pins, the movement begins as users scroll down their feed and the speed of the animation adjusts to users’ scrolling speed. The full videos play only after users click to expand the pins.

Not only do these new units give brands the ability to expand their storytelling content, but they look amazing. The ads won’t be served to desktop users, which makes sense since more than 80 percent of Pinterest activity takes place on mobile. For the announcement, Pinterest produced a video of how Cinematic Pins will look:

The looping videos will be on the short side. Pinterest is recommending that brands keep the full videos to about 50 frames, 10 of which are shown on users feeds. Launch partners include Banana Republic, Gap, L’Oreal USA, Nestle, Old Navy, Target, Unilever, Visa, Walgreens, and Wendy’s.


Of course, bringing motion into digital advertising isn’t a new wrinkle — animated banner ads have long been a staple in the market and brands have used animated GIFs, cinemagraphs, and other formats to try to catch people’s attention. However, I believe the new Pinterest feature is unique enough to gain traction, although it will remain to be seen whether it will have staying power.

Cinematic Pins were introduced along with several other new Pinterest initiatives, including the impending official rollout of the company’s CPC based Promoted Pin program, now enhanced by cost-per-action and cost-per-engagement features. To learn more about additional advertising methods, read this wrap-up article from Marketing Land: Pinterest To Greatly Expand Advertising Solutions This Summer.

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