GIFS – Where and How to Use Them Effectively in Marketing and Advertising


The beloved GIF – whether you pronounce it like “gift” without the “t”, or like “jiff”, these little graphics are making a big impression in the world of marketing and advertising. GIFs are often created from movie clips or shows and used for casual texts or tweets. However, GIFs can be used for many other purposes in the professional realm. Here are some ideas to add interactivity to your marketing and advertising materials.





GIFs can be used on websites in a variety of ways. They can be used to tell a story or show a process your brand likes to tell. And, sometimes showing is easier and more effective than writing it all out. It can also promote your products in a fun, engaging way. For example, if you have products that come in a variety of colors, you could create a GIF that shows that product changing colors. A quick fact: GIFs do not effect loading times, unlike Flash. So with GIFs, you still get a fun animation without the lag.


Here is an example of a web graphic we created for a client:



Email Marketing

Two popular email marketing companies are MailChimp and Constant Contact. Both of these platforms allow for GIF animations in emails. Email marketing can be tricky in getting viewers’ attention and keeping subscribers, so adding a GIF or two in your email designs might be the trick to reeling them in to read more. Again, this can be showing new products, telling a story, showing the viewers how to do something, or adding just a general visual interactive element (relevant to the email subject).


Here’s an example of an email blast we created for a client:



Social Media

The GIF’s true home is on social media. GIFs are extremely popular on Twitter, and allow a new way for people to communicate with one another, visually. Therefore, there is no question as to whether your next ad campaign should use GIFs on social media platforms. GIFs are also very adaptable to any platform, so having a streamlined campaign is a cinch with GIFs.


Here are a few samples of GIFs we created for social media:








Although blogs were initially meant for writing, they’ve become increasingly visual. Look at Buzzfeed articles – their word-to-GIF ratio is almost 50/50 in some posts they write. Depending on the subject matter of the blog, throwing in a GIF might be a fun solution to what would have been a text-heavy read.


WARNING: There are certain platforms that do not accept GIF formatted files. In these cases, you’ll need to convert your GIF into an mp4 file (a video file). This is very simple to do. If you know how to do it in Photoshop, or even if you’re not a Photoshop expert, there are resources you can use that will convert the files for you:




They’re easier than ever to create.

Not a Photoshop expert but have a great idea for a GIF? Here are some links to sites that can help you build a GIF:


However, we still recommend making GIFs completely customized in Photoshop. Custom graphics are a smarter way to make sure you’re representing your brand the most effective way possible to create a memorable identity for your brand.


They’re easy to view and add an interactive element to your brand.

Now more than ever, viewers feel overwhelmed by having to read long paragraphs, and resonate better with short phrases in advertising. What better way to catch an audience’s attention by practically eliminating copy altogether and advertising with just visuals (GIFs).


They can tell a story, explain a process, or show a viewer how to do something.

To add to the previous point, sometimes it is better to show, rather than tell, to get a message across to an audience. People learn and understand through different methods. Some people can interpret information better by reading, but many people are visual learners.


They’re adaptable across various platforms, and mobile friendly.

When developing a marketing campaign, it is pertinent to have a cohesive look, and to have  campaign elements that carry through from platform to platform. GIFs are accepted by most platforms (despite the exceptions mentioned earlier), so they’re easily transportable across a campaign.


They appeal to viewers interests and increase audience engagement.

GIFs are a top trend in communication on social media / messaging / communication among millennials, and thus have becoming a growing trend in the world of marketing. Incorporating custom GIFs that cooperate with your brand shows that your brand pays attention to trends and is able to communicate with your audience in a relevant manner.


They’re a step between image and video, without the high cost of video production.

Budget is always a concern for advertising campaigns, and custom GIFs are an affordable solution. They are more than just an image, but not quite a full on HD video, so they provide a good sweet spot for digital content.



At ocreations, we’ve been creating GIFs for our clients more and more often. If you need a GIF in a jiff, we’re more than happy to help your brand keep up with the trends! Please contact us today for more information.