3 Reasons GIFs Have a Place in Your Marketing

We’ve all seen the GIFs of yesteryear: Flashing letters. Hokey cartoons. The dancing baby. Today, these are distractions and lack a certain classiness. Kind of like using WordArt. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t use an animated GIF, it just means you need to use them in a more sophisticated way and with an appropriate animation.

This is one of my favorite animated GIFs. It reminds me of direct mail pieces that use removable stickers of different sizes to select the offer you want. The Banana Republic email physically shows you a larger box as the discount gets larger.

Banana Republic email gifIn this email from J. Jills, the sweeping effect enhances the offer without being too cute.

J Jill email gif

And finally, Rent the Runway has fun with sequins in an email to highlight its Valentines Day countdown, as well as bring attention to the call to action.

Rent the Runway Email gifGIFs and Emails

I should note here that not all email applications can read animated GIFs — my favorite company Microsoft comes to mind. An animated GIF in some applications will only read the first frame of an animated GIF. With that in mind, you’ll need to create your GIF with the complete message as frame No. 1.

The Bottom Line

Animated GIFs can be wonderfully helpful and enhance you message. But not done well they can make your products or offers look silly or hokey. And there’s a fine line here that needs to be watched. Animated GIFs may not be suitable to all products or services. And most importantly the idea or concept behind the animation must enhance your message — not just a clever technique you’ve been dying to try.



Author: Patrick Fultz

Patrick Fultz is the President/CCO of DM Creative Group, a creative marketing firm producing work across all media. He’s an art-side creative, marketing strategist, designer and lover of all things type. His credentials include a degree from Parsons School of Design with 15 years of teaching at his alma mater, over 40 industry creative awards, and he previously served as President of the John Caples International Awards. Always an innovator, Fultz was credited with creating the first 4-color variable data direct mail piece ever produced. He continues to look for innovative ways to tap the powerful synergy of direct mail, the web, digital and social media.

2 thoughts on “3 Reasons GIFs Have a Place in Your Marketing”

  1. Lovely, tiny stories that catch and hold the eye. In a world of big, bold and brassy, they cut through the clutter.

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