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What’s in a gif?

By Minenhle Khoza, Digital Strategist

If a picture is worth a thousand words then, surely, a GIF must be worth a couple of thousand more?

The GIF or GIF (because how to pronounce it remains one of the modern world’s greatest mysteries) is nothing new, having been introduced to the world all the way back in 1987 by Steve Wilhite. For context’s sake: in 1987, “The Simpsons” first made its debut as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show. Throwback much?

The GIF may not be new, but it is certainly enjoying its greatest ever run in popular culture, and by the look of things, it could be here for a while to come. Wilhite created the GIF as a new way to present a moving image, and it has since become a ridiculously cool way to capture some of our favourite movie and TV moments, moods, and can be used as a social commentary tool.

 There’s a GIF for when you are in complete disbelief:  


There’s also a GIF for one of the best trending topics of 2018: #BlackHogwarts 

Basically, there’s a GIF for almost any and everything. When it comes to Advertising, Marketing and the content you create, though, where do GIFs fit in? Let’s find out.  

GIFs, consumers and your brand

In 2018, visual power is more important than ever. Also important in 2018 are brands’ never-ending desire to create content that appeals to their target audience and encourages some kind of interaction with said audience. According to HubSpot, visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on Social Media than any other type of content. GIFs are a large part of that number, and unlike video content, are cheaper (who doesn’t like saving money?) and easier (who doesn’t like saving time?) to produce.

GIFs allow brands to sell their products, tell their own stories, captivate audiences with striking designs, and have even given a number of brands the opportunity to embrace their quirky side, wholeheartedly.

Take English football club Bristol City. If you are not a fan of the club, the team hardly ever crosses your mind. However, the club has recently enjoyed a fun rise in popularity due to the quirky GIFs they post when one of their players score a goal.

For those of you wondering if GIFs can only be used for digital campaigns, take a look at how Netflix (ironically, a brand which lives, breathes and preaches online), created this awesome outdoor advertising campaign using GIF. 

The ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ nature of the digital generation means that GIFs do have a limited time in the spotlight. The fact that this image format has actually lasted this long and continues to endure, is a testament to its seemingly never-fading appeal. Even in face of Virtual Reality and high-end video production, the GIF is here to stay.

CBR Marketing Solutions is a Digital Marketing and Advertising agency inspired by ensuring a brand, idea or service’s place in the ever-changing market. For more information on how to create digital content that hits the mark, go to