Alex Chung, founder and CEO of Giphy, is quiet, even a bit shy. Unlike other speakers who showed up on SXSW, he’s not a natural-to-stage person, he even stutters. However, it’s so clear he believes that gifs are the future of communication, that no one winked at his presentation and everyone’s been convinced — or at least we were.
Chung’s theory is that text is the worst way of converting information ever created, because many words and paragraphs are needed to say something that a video can show in a few seconds. And he proved that with a 100% presentation made by gifs, in milliseconds, and in every slide, the audience reacted the way he wanted them to.
For him, videos, more specifically, the short ones are the future. Just because no one reads much: millenials spend 18 hours connected a day and watch, on average, only 3 seconds per video. All of our actions are mediated by technology, whether to stay in a line, watch TV or talk to friends. Smartphone is always present — as annoying as it may be sometimes.
This means that brands have all this space to explore. It takes several hours to put your content in the minds of consumers using mobile tools. That’s why Giphy created a production studio of ads with gifs for the partner brands. Thus, brands can use this type of communication on their own channels, but also and more important: it can be used by consumers when they search for a gif to send.
Giphy is already integrated into thousands of platforms (Stories, Snappchat, Facebook and Slack only to mention a few) and the audience uses them to find the gif that perfectly exemplifies the message they want to pass. Imagine then that when someone searches for “hungry, for example, a sponsored gif created by McDonald’s of someone eating a Big Mac is showed.
For consumers, it’s a way to show a feeling, since you’d easily eat a hamburger, but for the brand it’s more than a possibility to be part of a message created by the users themselves – aka user generated content (UGC).
Amazon was already doing this.
For them, the future is gifs in everything. The animated stickers that overlap the created content were the first step, then gifs in augmented reality came up and now the creation of ads specifically designed to become gifs. And, we have to agree.
We’ve heard a lot here in SXSW that brands need to humanize, be real and create a real connection with consumers. And if this is the trend, it’s natural that companies communicate with consumers in the way people talk to each other, using natural language, emojis and GIFs, why not?
Scup agrees and signs down. How about you?
>>> See also: Emojis Guide: how your brand can make use of it