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Top Tips on How to Create a High-Performing GIF

May 18, 2018

Here’s the Gist on all things GIFs

A day doesn’t go by in our online and mobile lives that a GIF doesn’t pop up on our screen. Through online ads, our phones, and social media posts, we are bombarded with these quirky, and often hilarious, animated images representing some emotion, sentiment, or reaction. Three hundred million people share over 2 billion GIFs everyday according to GIPHY, the top online resource and go-to site for GIF creation. Wow.

The #1 GIF of 2017 with 340 million views is the Love Gnome by Anna Hrachovec, a Chicago-based artist whose motto is “Let’s Make Happy.” The Love Gnome was Anna’s reaction to the presidential election. Now, it is often used as a reactive message of love in response to the news cycles of the past year.

Feeling excited? This GIF of Washington Redskins player Junior Gallette received 180 million views in 2017.

GIFs can even make you popular. Ask blinking guy with 266 million views.

So, what is a GIF?

The GIF, which means Graphics Interchange Format, is an image that moves and is animated by combining several photos or frames into a single file. First used over 30 years ago, GIFs outperform static images by almost 50% and video by 85%.

GIFs, because of their dynamic nature, can help brands stay relevant and perform well on social media platforms. Please keep in mind these three points from Strategies & Tactics when creating a GIF to use in your campaign or post.

  • Tell a Story – Be sure to deliver a clear and succinct message and that the GIF is in sync with your brand and the campaign for which it is being used.
  • Have Cultural Significance – This can be done by tapping into pop culture and current trends. A good rule of thumb is to not use a GIF in response to a serious event.
  • Keep the copy light – It’s important to include a caption for context, but do not use too many words.


Skipper Bond is a Partner at Bond Moroch.