What’s GIF Marketing? Thought You’d Never Ask!

“Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.”- David Ogilvy.

We all know that advertisement plays a big role in the decisions we make, the places we go, and the programs and companies that we choose to work with. How exciting, then, to think of the potential sitting in the hands of those who create innovative and original ways to capture the eye of the beholder. When we look through the perspective of Ogilvy, we see the big picture. The integrity and salient nature of a company is directly correlated with the image it distills through its brand. A brand is the product of a service, translated to the consumer with marketing techniques. This is why the GIF is a significant invention, and a constructive tool to companies around the world.

The invention of the GIF was a quiet one that quickly went out of fashion as the division between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 became greater and the ability to make effective and interesting GIFs became problematic. As tools for GIF creation expanded, so too did the popularity and the ability to use these new GIF’s in blogs and social networks.

As new GIF’s started appearing on popular websites, the benefits of using this technology became clearer. GIFs are easy to consume, since they capture the attention of the viewer in a way a still image cannot. Moreover, the viewer can engage with the material and extract a meaning from it in a much shorter time than a full-length video. Another benefit is the “call-to-action” method that GIF’s employ with moving objects. Because the eye is drawn into the specific movement of the point of interest, the intention of the ad is more clearly conveyed.

One of the biggest advantages of using GIF’s is the potential to create an emotional connection with the viewer. The format of a GIF, in itself, is very mesmerizing and captivating. It opens up a still-photo into a world in which the image was captured, creating a window into the moment in time in which it was created. Emotional connections will trump any other kind of connection available to marketers or advertisers. This is why those cute Super Bowl commercials win the hearts of millions of Americans, and can potentially become topics of conversation at the dinner table. People will associate their emotional connection with the artwork of the ad and it will be remembered.

The application of GIF’s is used everywhere, from television network websites to social media and fashion blogs. The ability to customize movement to a particular style or audience opens up limitless possibilities. As long as you have Photoshop and some basic design skill, as well as access to GIF-making software, you are on your way to expanding your brand through the lenses of your ads.