In the war of the VoD platforms to take over the market and to connect with their potential viewers, a chapter could almost be made of what they are doing on social networks and how they compete to be the most dynamic, the ones with the rightmost interesting profile or those that wink the most to their followers/consumers. They all want to be the best and they all have a few things in common. One of them is clearly the use of gifs. You just have to enter the profiles on Twitter in Spain of HBO or Netflix, take a look, and see how the content of this type accumulates. His latest tweets are full of gifs.

And not only that: the image of its contents and the conversations about its Last Database products are made in gifs. Each chapter of its star series is torn to pieces by its followers not only in a collection of memes but also in a collection of gifs that begin to circulate on the network and are shared in a massive way. In fact, the success of these gifs can be so high that they end up entering popular culture and being used and shared even by those who are not followers of those successful series and who do not really know the characters. The gif thus becomes a kind of outpost that makes content even more popular and reaches many more potential consumers than it would have otherwise.

The importance of the gif is already decisive. Internet users have incorporated it into their conversations on the Internet and have also made demographic barriers disappear in this content. It is no longer just that young people use gifs, but its popularization has begun to permeate all demographic groups that use the network. The gif, you could say, does not know how old it is.

On the other hand, and given such popular content, the tool has also become an opportunity for brands and companies. The gif must already be an unquestionable part of the digital marketing strategy and not only as an element that is added to the conversations but also as a vehicle to publicize the brand, its products and its values.

As pointed a columnist for The Drum , would have to live in a cave to have not learned that has crossed the border and started the era of visual communication. We use more and more images in our conversations on the web. Not only does it happen with the ubiquitous emojis, ultra popular in conversations of all kinds, but also with gifs.

As you recall, one of the latest statistics (and limited to only one platform, Giphy), indicated that 300 million people used it every day. Consumers have switched to gif and companies have to be able to play with those weapons.

This gif of Kimmy Schmidt is possibly more viral than the series

What makes the gif work and what doesn't
Of course, making a gif of a product, a brand or something related to the company is also in a certain way a matter of an art. Some brands and companies fail with their gifs simply because they apply advertising criteria to them. They see the gif as one more advertisement, when it is not exactly that.

As the expert explains in the column, companies ask themselves what they want to say about themselves instead of thinking about what consumers want to use in their conversations. That makes his gifs do not curdle and do not work. The gif cannot simply be spam, or it cannot be if what you want is to work on a viral level and outside of brand communications.

An advertising gif for PlayStation on Giphy

In order for them to work, gifs have to tie together three key points. They have to have good storytelling (that is, they have to be efficient and tell their story clearly in a few seconds), they have to be useful for the Internet user and they have to have an emotional impact (which also has to be universal: everything the world has to effortlessly understand what the gif is telling us and empathize with it).