Who doesn’t love an animated gif? Well, like mediums of communication it depends on the context and timing, but as a means of grabbing someone’s attention as they perform their 30-minute routine social media check; snappy, short video is an incredibly powerful tool, one that we at Jammy Custard feel is not exploited nearly enough by businesses.

Marketing savvy businesses have become comfortable with using promotional and explainer videos, lasting around 1-2 minute duration to woo audiences. But with social feeds being dominated by moving content, what does the rise of the Pop-Culture gif, specifically, tell us about social feed comms?

Most social network comment sections are primed with .gif libraries. The content in these libraries is usually a scene from a TV show, film or a pet. These libraries exist so users can emphasise an emotion and use a memorable, often humorous anecdote to support their thoughts. There’s a big, flashing, neon sign in the previous statement that should be grabbing your attention, and it reads ’emphasise an emotion’. That is one of the most significant reasons why short video will grow in popularity and why you should consider creating and using short video.

Look at the key benefits:

How can a business use ‘branded’ short video?

Here are two points businesses are beginning to understand about short video usage:

1. By conveying emotion, you can humanise a brand – this is what drives most gif and short video usage; a means of expression, likely with a dash of ‘light relief’.

Businesses can already use the standard free-to-use gifs of famous film, tv and meme characters, and used well; these can be a great response.

How can a business take this one step further?

Take a look at sports. Lots of teams and personalities use gifs and short videos to tell the story of a sporting event. For example, Red Bull Racing’s Formula 1 Team have a fantastic bank of video gifs to provide anecdotal responses to moments their driver’s face during a Grand Prix. It shows their drivers ‘showing off’ a mood or reaction. But importantly, it ties into their brand and brand’s journey through the championship’s highs and lows.

Daniel Ricciardo Gif
Max Verstappen GIF

Businesses are still exploring how short videos such as the above can add their brand story, but as ever, research into different industries can provide a wealth of inspiration. How about saying “thank you”, “celebrating a big win today” or simply “have a nice weekend” in a way that is unique to your brand? What could that mean to your customers and your team?

2. Remove the audiences ‘effort’ to take in something important

Let’s imagine you have an event or an important deadline for a competition coming up. You need to boost the attentiveness of your audience and get them to act. A post that prints the objective truth that ‘time is running out’ would be well supported by an animated short video that either:

Either response taps into a person’s behaviour and is more likely to create a reaction to the situation.

When it comes to selling a product or service, we will stick our neck on the line and say, sometimes, a short video with one clear definition can sometimes be money better spent than trying to pack lots of things into a video (it’s why we created our social video package). It’s also worth thinking about how splitting up messages into individual points gives you fodder for social content. Quantity and Quality!

(caption: When social media account managers have a full posts schedule all worked out)

Take a short video campaign we did for Cawdor Vauxhall dealership. They could have gone for an explainer video that explained they had new car offers and then went on to explain who Cawdor was and why they are worth the visit. They didn’t need to. The hero message that people are interested in is a new Vauxhall offer. Qualifying Cawdor as a good dealership can come from other content sources. The point is, the audience is hooked.

(caption: a short ‘moving billboard’ social video for new Vaxuhall car deals. By Cawdor Cars and Jammy Custard Animation)

Context is everything. Use short videos if the message is simple enough to explain, or to support other content. For the latter, they are there to suggest that the post’s material is vital enough to stop the audience scrolling past. Finally, short little slick videos and animations are another opportunity to present your branding and show you invest in your image and therefore reputation – a point that’s not seemingly picked up on very much.

Beware the pitfalls of short videos

Finally, be creative

Don’t forget, limitations such as duration can provide the perfect opportunity to create something genuinely original and compelling. Not all big marketing problems require big solutions.

If you are interested in exploring gif content, we at Jammy Custard are just a phone call away. Thank you for reading.

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1452165383296{padding-top: 40px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1452166092824{margin-top: 20px !important;}” el_class=”lead”]We’ve said farewell to 2015, a year so jam packed with online video that over 300 hours of the stuff was uploaded to YouTube every minute.

We’ve taken a look at online video trends and the work we’ve done here at Jammy Custard over 2015, and made our predictions for video in 2016.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Virtual Reality and 360 video

It’s been on the cards for some time, but Virtual Reality will hit headlines again this year with the commercial release of Oculus Rift. We’ve seen a number of developer videos and demos being released in the past, but this year will show whether VR is more than just a gimmick.

If VR catches on it will effect everything from how we play games, watch movies and TV, and interact with each other. It’s going to be really interesting to see how Marketers utilise the technology.

If you can’t wait or afford an Oculus Rift, you can get a taster using Google’s own ‘Cardboard’. It’s been around for a while, we actually have one in the studio and we’ve spent many hours wandering virtual museums and landmarks while turning in circles in the middle of the office. It’s pretty fun – and sometimes nauseating!

Related to this are 360 videos. Facebook and Youtube updated in 2015 to allow uploads of 360 videos. To be honest, it’s nothing new and has been around for a long time, but if anything it’s been improved and the hardware made more accessible.

Check out the Music Video by Foals (below), the idea is rather simple, but it’ll be interesting to see what other creative ideas can be achieved with a 360 music video.

You can use your keyboard and mouse to navigate, but for a more immersive experience try using your smart device or VR headset to take a look around.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/l_EIE5f2t6M”][vc_column_text]

short video ads and promos

For years we’ve tolerated video ads; on Youtube we’re automatically hovering our mouse cursors over the ‘Skip Ad’ button waiting for it to appear. Throughout 2015 Video Ads have crept into most of our social networks, most notably in our Facebook and Instagram feeds.

2016 will see companies continue to use this short video format for ads and promos, as well as creating their own social accounts to post and share content. Take a look at the Star Wars Instagram account where they regularly share behind the scenes shots and snippets from the latest release ‘The Force Awakens’ to drive hype and engagement.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Target is in range! Only one week remains until #StarWars: #TheForceAwakens. Tickets available now. #movie #movies

A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]On platforms like these businesses can really have fun and be creative. It’s easy to do for a film release like Star Wars, with short clips and teasers ready available, but take a look at Oreo on Vine where they get creative and post short, fun animations and tips.

Expect to see more use of this![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]


Periscope and Meerkat are apps that allow streaming (also known as real-time storytelling or live-stream social) from your smart device to your followers . It informs Twitter when you’re broadcasting so friends, family, followers and strangers can see what you’re doing and interact with you.

Along with people streaming from computers and games consoles using Twitch (and doing crazy crowd sourcing things with it such as: everyone controlling a single player game together), it’s so easy and accessible that it’s a no brainer for it to keep on growing.

Also worth mentioning that Facebook is getting in on the ‘Live Streaming‘ action. Previously only available to Celebrities the feature is now mid-rollout, only supported on iOS and available on some profiles for now, but it’s planned to be available for everyone through the Facebook app soon.

While this is a big addition to social sharing, expect to also see brands using this for live shows, product demos and more.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Vertical Videos

Whether you’re for or against this (see our thoughts echoed in the video below), it is going to become more prominent. Our smart phones are vertical first, so from a functional point of view it makes sense, and Snapchat is leading the way with this. The photos and videos created with the app are all in portrait and brands are using this more and more to advertise.

Why? Because mobile is where the future lies. In 2014 mobiles started to take over the desktop computer as the primary way we use the Internet.

Expect to see more platforms accommodating Vertical Videos in their layouts and interfaces.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/Bt9zSfinwFA”][vc_separator][vc_column_text]In a nutshell, everything is focused on mobile smart devices and how we use them. From this we’ll be seeing more vertical, short and interactive videos with a pinch of realtime thrown in throughout 2016.

What do you think? Do you agree with our predictions and do you have any of your own for 2016?


(Header image source thanks to Bagogames)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row]