You’ve already shared them and perhaps don’t even know they’re ads. Which is kind of… exactly the point. The moment our minds recognize what we see is an “advertisement” or “someone trying to sell us something” we immediately shut down all methods of invitation and the walls go up. “This is a scam,” “I don’t believe it,” or “It’s just one of those things, it doesn’t actually work.” We know how we feel when we see ads, and it’s a conundrum content creators have been dealing with since consumer awareness has jumped up astronomically. Effective advertising should disrupt a category, not your day and annoy you. It’s why we change the radio station when the ads come on or skip the youtube ads after five seconds to get to our content. Some advertisers have tried to get around this with product placement, so you skip your youtube preroll ad then either see the product in the video, used by an influencer, or are again interrupted with a midroll ad that makes some users, myself included, lose interest in the video completely if we weren’t hooked within the first twenty seconds. It’s when content creators put out content we use, share, and enjoy, that we don’t even know they are ads, and in this case, those ads come in the form of GIFs. or GIFs. Is it GIFs? However you say it, marketers are taking notice in 2018.
With brands like PepsiCo’s BublyWater, Amazon, and Converse taking notice, so should you. After all, they’re making the ads, but you’re the one sharing them.
AdWeek sheds light on why these big name brands are getting into these looping videos, sharing a quote from Todd Kaplan, vp of PepsiCo North American Beverages’ water portfolio stating, “GIFs are changing the way we communicate—they make us laugh, they make us smile, and they make us want to connect and share more with each other.” He furthers the company wants to “create 1,000 new ways to get people to crack a smile and engage with our brand on an everyday basis.” And GIFs, well GIFs are certainly an effective means of reaching that goal. GIFs are a different way for companies to express their stories.
Millie Bobby Brown, or Eleven from Stranger Things, the most awesome show in the universe, was used for an entire converse campaign resulting in 32 “excellent GIFs from Converse.” If you go to GIPHY and search “converse,” she comes up. I did it for the feature ‘image’ on this post. I’m calling it now, in March of 2018, by the end of the year, dozens to hundreds of companies will be using GIFs as shareable touch points to spread brand awareness and increase their slice of shared media. These are just some of the first to hit it big, but years from now, they’ll be inescapable, if GIFs are even still around.
And for those who read all the way to the bottom…