Dana Loberg


The New, New Way to Text: Use Emoticons, Emojis, and GIFs To Up Engagement

Made by Dilek Dundaralp #MovieLaLa :)

The evolution of how we communicate via text has changed dramatic and rapid. Just a few years ago we were texting words back and forth, then we were adding emoticons, next emojis became popular, and now gifs are all the rage.

It is no secret that colorful displays of images now dominate how we represent our feelings when we text. Because images are proving to be a powerful way to get thoughts across and expresses feelings, marketers are learning how to use Emoticons, Emojis and GIFs in a much more dynamic way. Big brands are beginning to jump on this trend using emojis in their marketing strategy (e.g., Dominos, IHOP, McDonalds, Foot Locker, etc.). Dominos created a pizza emoji for customers to place orders. This innovative idea led them to win the Titanium Grand Prix award. Movie marketers are also using GIFs and short-form video — like vine, vimeo and others — as well to draw in viewers.

So what are Emoticons, Emojis and GIFs?

  • Emoticons are the small, round yellow faces with a smirk ;), a smile :) or a frown :(
  • Emojis, a more colorful form of emoticons, are currently some of the most popular ways to break up text with an image. 92% of the online community use emojis, according to the 2015 Emoji Report.
  • GIFs are the next generation, action-filled and live emoji. This short form content is entertaining. Tumblr reports 23M GIFs are posted on the site everyday. These still images on steroids add depth, humour and playfulness to texts- and GIFs are simply viral in nature. Twitter sees their engagement increase 5x with the users who post with gifs (Twitter Statistics).

GIFs and other short form videos are the perfect way to grab people’s attention in marketing movies. These bite size videos don’t reveal TOO much of the film, are very entertaining, and unlike trailers, don’t reveal too much of the film. Fans get a quick glimpse of what’s to come and leave movie fans feeling excited about the new release.

The use of GIFs will continue to grow in 2016

The fact that Facebook and other social channels are beginning to add support for GIFs in their platforms endorses their virality. And, with more opportunity to publish GIFs, more GIF-making tools will come to market. In 2015 we saw imgur, gifmaker.io and others launch to make it much easier for average users to make their own GIFs.

2016 will see the gif world continue to flourish as these social platforms endorse and bring images to life, allowing creators to continue entertaining us through their short form content, gifs, and animations everywhere.

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