The Value of Gifs

Original Gif

It’s a natural reaction to be attracted to movement; it derives from the very basic human survival instincts of danger avoidance. In marketing, we can appeal to these instincts using videos or the current trend: gifs.

Gifs (no matter how you pronounce it) are a short looping clip or animation made of frames. Made popular by social media, gifs have the ability to condense a concept or joke into a small clip.

Colors used in graphics (and the overall gif) can be used to demonstrate a mood or attract attention while vibrancy and movement has the tendency to attract the eye. Content of gifs include short narrative stories and quick displaying of ideas or concepts )and of course, jokes. However, unlike videos gifs are silent but are able to be loaded and viewed pages faster than videos.

Have you ever watched T.V and had to turn down the volume during commercials? It’s not just in your head, before 2013 those commercials really were louder then the show you were watching. The Federal Communications website states that the “Commission adopted rules on December 13, 2011 that require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany. The rules became effective on December 13, 2012, one year after the date of their adoption. Broadcast television stations and pay TV providers were given until this date to be in full compliance.” Today, commercials need to have the same average volume as the show but in theory (and probably practice) they can have an initial peak in volume to attract your attention. Exaggerated facial expressions may also give the illusion that what is being said is louder than in reality.

When using a gif sound must be implied through actions and movements. The more exaggerated they are the “louder” they appear.

Creating gifs can be time-consuming if making many frames for a single action. However, this can reduce the choppy “stop and go” affect.