Gifs: Redefining Interpersonal Communication

April 28, 2016  | By Ketner Group

A “gif” is defined as “a computer file format for the compression and storage of digital video images.” (Thanks, Merriam-Webster.) But most recently the term has come to define the looped video used in reaction to a situation or to add “color commentary” to an ongoing conversation between groups of people or to one’s social media post.

Suffice it to say, I am a BIG fan of them.

Since Slack announced its integration with GIPHY two years ago, Ketner Group’s inter-office /giphy tags have provided comedic relief to pretty much any situation we find ourselves in or in one-off conversations we may be having with other team members. I even find myself having entire conversations via /giphy. (Personally I’m partial to Game of Thrones and Beyoncé gifs. Given the recent release of the new season of GoT and LEMONADE, I’m pleased I’ll have a lot more content to work with.)

via GIPHY


via GIPHY

Gifs really are the new expression of emotion or reactions through a two-dimensional medium, be it in interoffice messages or texts with friends. Some might argue that emojis are the current “it” thing, and while I appreciate a good emoji conversation, nothing really says “I-just-secured-awesome-coverage-for-my-client-and-didn’t-break-a-sweat” like Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2.


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Or when receiving an unexpected complement, I look to a children’s classic.


via GIPHY

Many brands and companies have introduced their own branded gif keyboards, including Kik with their partnership program, Starbucks with their Frappuccino featured keyboard and Mississippi State’s athletics focused keyboard, to increase their reach with consumers.

With these brands creating their own keyboards and countless others in development, it’s generating a whole new vehicle for us to engage with those brands and use those brands as a means of self-expression, much like we would clothes or accessories. This integrates brands further into our everyday lives, blurring the distinction between marketing and organic content, including GIPHY’s head of business development.

As my parting gift, I’ll leave you with the hilarious fail gifs and let you see if you can figure out which ones are branded.


via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

via GIPHY