The GIF that keeps on giving
October 2020

By Alex Jeater

Let’s be honest, we all love a GIF. And why wouldn’t we? We’re overwhelmed with content online nowadays and studies have shown that our attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2020 (incidentally, one second less than a goldfish). More exciting to look at than a photo but shorter than a video, a Graphics Interchange Format is just what our brains desire.


The short, animated clips have quickly become a part of many people’s online discourse and in recent years, brands have jumped at the chance to incorporate GIFs into social media marketing. Whether to showcase a new product or in response to a joke, the use of online GIFs has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1987.


We take a look at some of the brands that effectively use GIF’s on social media to engage, entertain and inform its audience.


  1. Cineworld
    It’s rare to find a tweet by Cineworld which doesn’t contain a GIF. But then again, when you’re a cinema chain with GIFs spanning the whole film industry at your fingertips, why wouldn’t you use one at every opportunity? Whether it’s film news, a birthday celebration or pop culture reference, Cineworld has a GIF for every occasion and it’s not afraid to use it. Cineworld’s frequent use of GIFs is also pronounced within its community, with tweets to and from followers regularly using gifs in favour of words.

  2. KFC
    Not content with serving just the best fried chicken in the whole entire world, KFC also serves up hilarious content on its Twitter page, with GIFs leading the way in its tweets. Its social team are quick to jump on the news agenda to post cheeky, funny tweets that are relatable for its audience. Through the use of GIFs, the team also post content which the many other social and community managers out there can relate to.

  3. Caffe Nero
    Over on Facebook, Caffe Nero is a frequent poster of GIFs. The coffee shop chain creates its own animations to highlight everything from delicious treats to new products and services. The latter is an exciting way for the brand to keep its fans informed in an engaging way and without the need for lots of lengthy text. I implore you to watch the below cookie gif without your mouth watering.

  4. PlayStation
    As a leading gaming company with graphics at its forefront, it’s no surprise that GIFs are used heavily on PlayStation’s social media channels. From game footage to tie in with a new release, to informative snippets that show the console design itself, PlayStation uses GIFs to grab the attention of its followers. Sometimes, they even post something completely random with no newsworthy relevance whatsoever, like Crash Bandicoot. But, PlayStation has 19.7 million followers on Twitter, so it must be doing something right…

  5. Aldi
    Last, but by no means least, is Aldi. Last week on Twitter, Aldi announced its 30th birthday and how it planned to celebrate with a virtual party. Unfortunately, no one cares (Aldi’s words, not mine) so what followed was a series of brilliant tweets with GIFs that perfectly illustrated Aldi’s feelings and encouraged other brands to get involved. The virtual birthday party gained so much momentum that lots of different brands, from supermarkets to cleaning products, were jumping at the chance to respond. The campaign is a fantastic example of not just how a brand can use GIFs as an engagement tool, but also how it can work with other brands on social to achieve a common goal; entertaining its following.

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