GIFs and Memes: The New Art of Marketing

  I say “Internet”, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? A kid eating tide pods? An incredibly long article explaining why Mark Zuckerberg is a robot? Internet is nothing and everything at the same time, intrinsically it is a place where trends and topics are as short-lived as the career of Sean Kingston. Yet, there are two things that defy the course of time: GIFs and Memes.

First, what are those?

Long story short, a Meme is an image, a GIF is a short video; both have humorous purposes and have a tremendous capacity to go viral.


The kingdom of Memes and GIFs are social networks, especially Facebook where being “tagged” on a Meme or a GIF is a daily burden. Marketers are not fools and quickly they started riding the gravy train. As I said, GIFs and Memes can spread easily as social networks’ structure is based on them. No one wants to read a long post like this or see a two-minutes-long ad, people do not have time for it as they checked their social networks during class or at work when the teacher/boss are not looking.

This “culture of brevity” is changing the face of marketing. One of the most significant example is the marketing campaign “Your Kenzo World”, for which Internauts could create GIFs from the perfume’s promotional video.

Another example with the upcoming movie Deadpool 2, we already knew movie trailers and then movie teasers but now, we have shorter: Movie GIFs. In the case of Deadpool 2, it is a three-seconds-long sequence from the first trailer which, transformed into a GIF, is becoming viral on Twitter.

However, Memes and GIFs are difficult instruments, there is fine line between a buzz and a flop. As it is more of a youngster thing, if marketers do not really know what they are talking about, such a post can be easily perceived as a “lame daddy joke”. It is also a matter of proper timing, what works today could be out-of-date tomorrow. And that is the flaw in the system, with GIFs and Memes, marketers will always follow the trend instead of creating it.