There’s little more irritating than having your inbox clogged up with round robin emails containing poor jokes and animated GIFs of inane cartoon characters jumping up and down. I have always been a bit meh about animated GIFs: they can look quite unprofessional; the colour palette is limited to just 256 choices and there is no sound.
Animated GIFs have been around for about 25 years or so and I certainly remember my university years in the 90s being characterized by these irritating, repetitive miniature movies which meant absolutely nothing. Media mutates and evolves like a virulent superbug so the progression has been impressive. Each media format finds its best use and the recent news that Pinterest have enabled animated GIFs on their website led me to drift off onto the world’s most effective consumer of vast amounts of time when you are supposed to be working – Google. I found this.
The repetitiveness which had irritated me previously now drew me in. Watching the effect of sound waves on a stream of water is like hypnosis. The diminished quality in colour and shortness of the film are irrelevant compared to what they communicate. Each of these animated GIFs can be produced for free on any number of websites and are simple to create as well as being relatively small files (depending on the length of the animation). A series of static GIFs or a section of a movie can be used. I like the way a highly complex idea can be communicated in such simple fashion.
I swerved the ’50 most magnificently sexy Katy Perry GIFs ever seen’ and thought back to their use on Pinterest and in a more commercial aspect.
Minieco.co.uk have used animated GIFs to great effect, showing how to tie knots or how pop up greetings cards work on their board. The trick is to use the animation aspect to highlight as opposed to distract from your product. This recent blog post from the Pinterest site has some great ideas on how to use animation to draw your customer in. Will you or won’t you? Enjoy.