The Space Between

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Copyright – Jamie Beck & Kevin Burg

Understanding where the world is going in digital imagery and visual communication can sometimes be a challenge.  You feel the direction and can see the vision but still struggle on how to describe it to others.  I have been finding myself using the term “Space Between” a still image and a video to describe the area that we are trying to liberate on behalf of advertisers and marketers.  This space represents a growing movement in digital content creation that is driven by simple yet engaging motion.

The still photo can be a small and easily usable image and that is what makes it a perfect piece of content for digital advertising creative.  Photos capture a moment in time and lets the audience complete the story. But the one image is often one dimensional, interpretative and approximate – not providing the clarity, energy and emotion of actual movement.

Video, on the other hand, tells a more complete story and its format is designed to allow the creator room to express an entire thought or idea worth sharing.  Video can be engaging and robust enough to get just about any message across, and sound provides an additional sensation to express emotion and feeling.  However, using video as content in digital advertising is often complicated.  Requiring the user to click to play creates an instant barrier that demotes the video to a still photo with an arrow on top.  And, large file sizes, limited media placement opportunities and hosting issues can add to the video’s inherent complexities.

The average online attention span in 2013 was eight seconds. Twitter has seen the research. This is why they decided on a maximum of six seconds for uploads to their popular Vine video app and standardized the original ‘Tweet’ on 140 characters or less to get a point across.   Less is more in today’s busy world.  If grabbing our attention in a digital environment in less than eight seconds is important, we need a new way to combine the simplicity of the still photo with the engaging nature of a video.  Can we convey emotion through motion simply and quickly?  Absolutely we can.  But what do we call it?

NIKE by Mr GIF

Copyright – Mr. GIF

Since the Dave Matthews Band already used “The Space Between” to title their 2001 hit song, it is our job (collectively) to come up with a name to describe this emerging space.  Some within the industry have begun using their own language to describe the content.  Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, the duo credited with the artistic revival of the GIF format coined the name “Cinemagraph” to describe their moving photographs.  Other creative professionals use terms such as moving portraits, hybrid photography or looping video.  All are valid monikers given to a new art form that is simple, compact, engaging and provides just enough emotion to compel the viewer to take action.  But the medium deserves an artistic distinction that sets it apart, not as a technology but as a form of expression born from the evolution of technology.

We know what this “Space Between” is but need your help giving it a unique and defining name.  We have built a company around this new disruptive technology and are looking to provide smart solutions to creative professionals, digital marketers and ad agencies looking to convey emotion through motion quickly and easily in the form of digital content and creative for display banners, websites, email campaigns, landing pages and social media channels.

Send us a tweet at @Cinegif for your suggestions on naming the space between a still photo and a video, or post on our Facebook page.

C’mon Yahoo! – You Can Do Better Than That!

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Really Yahoo…was that the best you could do?  Is it just me or was the first GIF Yahoo posted when announcing their acquisition of Tumblr rather disappointing?  This faux pas shows what little Yahoo knows about the animated GIF and its immense influence on Tumblr.

My mom always told me that you never get a second chance to make a first impression and well…not so much Yahoo.  The Tumblr community is home to some of the greatest GIF creatives on the planet.  Yahoo could have easily reached out to one of them to blow us away with a GIF that rocked our world.

True artists and innovators like Jamie Beck and Kevin BurgINSAReed+Rader, Mr. GIF, and many others have worked hard for many of us and more importantly for consumers to move beyond the GIF of the past.  They have transformed it into a highly evolved, mesmerizing, and sophisticated medium.  Big brands like Neiman Marcus, Disney, GE, American Apparel, Amazon, Burberry, and MTV have assisted in the re-education process by sharing powerful and beautiful GIFs in email campaigns, web designs, ecommerce displays, and social media.  It’s a shame that all of this hard work, creativity, and thinking outside of the box was brushed aside by one of the most influential technology companies of the past 15 years.  It doesn’t exactly give you a warm fuzzy feeling.

The GIF is not the old low quality format that it once was.  It has matured and evolved into a professional, high quality image format that is as engaging as a video but as simple to use as a still image.  This is only the beginning of the ‘new and improved’ GIF.  At Cinegif, we are even taking it one step further by revolutionizing the GIF into the next rich media format.  For more information, please visit our website.