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Film festival uses Instagram to create flip book trailers

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A novel attempt at advertisement is let down by its popularity

toronto silent film festival
toronto silent film festival

Days after Fox used Vine to advertise its upcoming Wolverine movie, the Toronto Silent Film Festival has taken to another new-media platform to promote its upcoming event. The festival has set up three Instagram accounts, which each contain "trailers" for silent movies. There's tsff_1, which showcases Murnau's classic Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans; tsff_2, featuring an excerpt from the 1925 feature Tumbleweeds; and tsff_3, taken from the Del Lord short Super-Hooper-Dyne Lizzies. To view each trailer, head to the relevant Instagram account on your smartphone and scroll rapidly though the images to create a flip book-like effect.

The idea for the novel advertising method came from Canadian advertising agency Cossette, which explained its thinking behind the campaign to Creative Review. "It feels appropriate to be using a technology like Instagram to promote the silent film technique," says co-chief creative officer Matt Litzinger, explaining that silent film was "in its day.. every bit as ground-breaking and innovative as digital platforms are today."

The concept of animating still images by scrolling is solid, and in YouTube promo above works perfectly. Unfortunately, now the Instagram accounts have been made public, each image set is peppered with likes and comments that break the flow of the animation, completely ruining the effect. If any other company wants to replicate the campaign in the future, it would be good to work directly with Instagram to remove users' commenting and favoriting rights to preserve the idea.