Video production

How to Turn Photos into Video Ads That Stand Out

Many marketers feel like they can’t make video ads when working with smaller budgets. The conundrum is that video has been proven time and again to be the most effective marketing medium—delivering the highest ROI—yet video production has a reputation of being complex and expensive to produce.

Although most types of original marketing video production can be surprisingly affordable, if your budget is tight, you can leverage post-production techniques to create video ads using existing photography for just hundreds of dollars, depending on the scope of the project. Also, small post-production projects are quick to execute—you can have ready-to-publish assets in as little as 24 hours.  

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These types of videos work particularly well for eCommerce and product marketing on various social media platforms—Snapchat, Pinterest, and Facebook/Instagram are particularly hospitable to this type of creative. The videos feel native on the channels, and effectively capture consumer attention in crowded arenas.

Here are specific techniques you can employ to turn photos into video ads that stand out.


Post-Production Motion Graphics

Post-production motion GFX animate a single photo. You can achieve two separate effects by applying post-production motion graphics: you can make a photo appear as if it is actually a video or you can add visual diversity to a static image by animating just a part of the frame.

The Macallan example above employs a standard video production technique—the zoom—to draw attention to the product. As the product takes up more of the frame, additional motion GFX create the effect of luster, further highlighting the bottle. This type of video can be used for social or for eCommerce, elevating the online shopping experience for your consumer.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Driving eCommerce Sales with Video: Key Creative Trends Across Five Retail Categories

Animating just a part of the frame is also an option. This example, also from a video we produced for The Macallan, layers on motion text to communicate brand values and seasonal messaging. This is an excellent demonstration of how you can get a lot of mileage out of a single photo—post-production motion GFX can be employed time and again to this same asset to customize messaging for specific audiences.


Existing Product Shot Animation

Add context and targeted messaging with existing product shot animation. This approach threads your existing product photography into a text-forward video ad.

This type of video is fully customizable and easy to iterate so you can test various messaging with your different audiences. Call out value propositions, product features, or any other messaging that you know will land with your targets. 

Videos that employ existing product shot animation work particularly well on social platforms that accommodate a sound-off experience, such as Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram. You can use sound effects or music to add texture to the video ad, but know that a good portion of your audience may be viewing it muted.


Product Motion

Product motion can animate any number of photos and turn them into a single video. This technique is pretty self-explanatory, your products are put in motion to create a visually dynamic ad that places your product front and center while grabbing attention.

Product motion videos are particularly effective at showcasing an entire line of products. In the video example above for Pfister, an entire line of products “fly in” from various directions and a fade is employed to create a second scene. A lot is accomplished in just 7 seconds. These types of video ads can be silent or underscored with music and work well on Instagram and Pinterest. 



The cinemagraph is aptly named as it has the most cinematic feel out of all of the post-production techniques. A cinemagraph is created by animating a single part of the frame to create an optical illusion of sorts that’s a cross between a photo and a video. 

Cinemagraphs add texture to a still and are used often in product marketing. In the example above, just the sky is animated, creating an eye-catching asset. Cinemagraphs are easy to create yet you don’t see them very often, making them a good option if you want to stand out on a platform like Instagram. They can also work extremely well at bringing personality and an edge to your eCommerce experience.



Stop-motion animation is a video that is created from a series of still photos—sometimes as many as hundreds. While stop-motion is technically achieved through post-production editing, it’s different from the other techniques here as it requires a specific shoot.

You won’t be able to simply repurpose existing still photography with stop-motion, but it’s an excellent option to consider if you want to bring an element of surprise, quirk, or fun to your video ad. Many stop-motion videos are very high gloss, so it’s a great technique to employ for broadcast-quality creative, as in the example above.

Stop-motion is also a great way to feature a product line or product features. QuickFrame created the unboxing-style stop-motion video above for Jaanuu that works well as a brand commercial. 


Get the perfect creator that can turn your photos into an impactful video ad—in as little as 24 hours. Check out our Production Marketplace.

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