Graphics Interchange Format
Yes, that’s what our beloved gif stands for. Thank me in the comment section for this great reveal. Not that they haven’t been around all these years, but thanks to Facebook’s resolve to bring back this antique technology with more psychedelia, length and cat antics – GIFS HAVE RETURNED!
Have you noticed how at least 8 of your friends are addicted to sharing gifs all day and night long?
Journey of the GIF
The gifs of yore (in the 90s) did not really achieve their true potential even though the idea was to create lossless compressed moving bitmaps. They were dismissed by mass media as thoughtless visual murder.
The rise of Tumblr gifs (post 2007), brought in an upheaval on the interwebz. Among the most popular were ‘Reaction gifs‘. Yet, the gif was not taken seriously enough to be used as marketing or creative material. This was also because of its limited 256 colour range.
It was the year 2015, when the gif game changed. They are now being used for storytelling and marketing.
GIFs for Digital Marketing
Put perfectly by Joe Puglisi, Creative Strategist at Buzzfeed:
‘If a picture is worth a thousand words, a GIF is worth 10,000’.
Facebook has been hard at work trying to suppress the organic reach of pages whose posts contain images, linkshares and text statuses. Though its idea is to promote Facebook video, the humble GIF overtook the popularity of Facebook’s own product. Twitter isn’t too far off either, with gif-based content playing natively on timelines.
It’s light and quick to load, it can be an animated loop or a short live action video capture, and it can be embedded both on websites and social media channels. Now how cool is that?
Gifs are not as heavy as videos, but they aren’t static like still graphics or pictures either. Though animating them takes almost the same amount of time and effort as a video, the resulting product can be shared without needing a video player.
A few possibilities to use gifs for effective marketing:
1. Showcase 360 degree view of a product
2. Create cinemagraphs for fashion or any other retail brand to highlight subtlety
3. Motion comics
4. Short character animations
5. Motion graphics as a substitute for infographics
6. Web and App Adverts
7. Kinetic Typography
And a lot more…
From our standpoint, we see 2016 as the year of the gif.
PS. Gif or Jif? What side of the fence are you on? Let us know in the comments!