Gripped By The Power of The GIF

PUBLISHED: August 22, 2017

In the era of social media sharing, the word GIF has become part of our vernacular. For those who haven’t been introduced to the newest member of our lexicon, a GIF (“Graphics Interchange Format”) is a 2- or 3-second moving image that’s posted on the Internet. There are millions of GIFs floating around the World Wide Web, from cats with bulging eyes to political figures with lightning shooting out of their mouths.

GIFs are used for a multitude of reasons, but the goal is always the same: to grab attention. These miniature movie clips are designed to be viewed, shared and discussed. For branding agencies, GIFs are the “it girl” of the moment. Major corporations such as Starbucks, Kraft, Paramount and Stuart Weitzman have already adopted GIFs into their marketing strategies.

So, what’s the real value in these fleeting animations? Why are we so gripped by the GIF?

  1. Travel well. GIFs can circumnavigate the globe in a matter of minutes. Users can easily upload them, tweet them, text them, copy and paste them… however you choose to share with your network. Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter have all made modifications to make it easier for users to view and share GIFs.
  2. A laugh goes a long way. GIFs are truly the flavor of the year—and they’re commonly among the highest trending topics on the Internet. The secret to their success is humor. If a marketing agency can create a comedic and interesting GIF that also showcases their brand, then they’ve hit the mother lode.
  3. Catchy and eye-catching. Modern consumers prefer viewing content to reading text. Agencies can spend hours coming up with a catchy, carefully crafted slogan… or they can upload a GIF. There’s no need to stress over the message when the GIF is communicating for you.
  4. Freedom of expression. Because GIFs aren’t static images, they allow agencies to express themselves in ways they never have before. GIFs can be comedic or serious, feel-good or thought provoking. Agencies can truly push the boundaries because—when you’re working with GIFs—there’s endless creative potential.

When scrolling through their Facebook feeds, consumers are 10 times more likely to stop and watch a GIF of a product as opposed to a single image. GIFs move traffic, get people talking, and capture consumers’ attention. Attention translates into traffic to your website, which of course translates into increased revenue. Whether this is a lasting fad or a flash in the pan, GIFs cannot and will not be ignored.

Published online at Community Newspapers.

About Brand Poets

Founded by Tana M. Llinas, Brand Poets is a collective of strategists, storytellers, and digital artisans crafting smart, poignant campaigns that command attention.


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