Toronto Silent Film Festival Rethinks Instagram (And We Love It)

silent film instagram

Lasting from April 4-9, the Toronto Silent Film Festival annually celebrates something near and dear to my heart — silent film. Although silent film aficionados already know about the festival, the TSFF launched a new imaginative campaign aimed at connecting with a new, younger audience by embracing a social media network in a new way.

Using separate usernames (@tsff_1, @tsff_2, @tsff_3) within Instagram, the festival has used the space to create a flipbook-reminiscent trailer for three of the films being shown this year. How? By Instagramming a frame at a time that followers can then speedily scroll through to get a tiny taste of what awaits them at the festival. Tweasers (if you can call them that) of “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans,” “Tumbleweeds” and “Super-Hooper-Dyne Lizzies” are currently on Instagram under the aforementioned usernames. The folks over at TSFF have even released a YouTube video to help newbies learn how to set the pics in motion.

Why we love this campaign:

TSFF is using a social site in a new and inventive way.

Although countless brands have adopted Instagram (even if it isn’t really the best fit for them social media-wise), we haven’t seen people really embrace it in a unique way. After all, there’s only so much you can do with photos before having to expand into the wonderful worlds of Vine or YouTube. The TSFF, though, has done just that. By taking individual film frames and uniting them into something greater and more interesting than just a single sepia shot, they’ve found a new way to use the medium and engage their audience. And speaking of audiences, this campaign succeeds by…

Effectively marketing old material to a new, younger audience.

Silent films, by nature, are becoming more and more of an obscure interest. Although film festivals, special screenings and loving homages like “The Artist” have helped inspire interest in this lost art form, silent films are still something that most people (especially the Millennials using social media) have probably never seen. By using a medium that caters so well to a new, younger audience while promoting something that is more than a century old, TSFF is bridging that generation gap in a creative, effective way.

Looking for inventive ways to boost your Instagram marketing strategy? Check out our helpful guides.