Growing up as a kid in the 90’s, Gif’s were the wonderfully tacky icons and avatars that swept the early Internet and computer programmes. I’m sure we can all remember the delightfully happy paperclip assistant in MS Word for example?

Awkwardly sat somewhere between images and video was the humble animated GIF (pronounced ‘jif’) – probably considered a staple piece of content back then. However crude they were, they probably hold a fond place in the minds of many as a mark of a time gone by.

I can imagine for many reading this, the thought of an old-school animated gif evokes a cringe-worthy response – especially in the realms of modern day marketing. But what better way to communicate your point than with an animated clip, merely seconds long; it’s a lot more enticing than static images after all… Fast forward to 2015, gif’s have made somewhat of a comeback!

Thanks to increased levels of access and improved production methods, combined with oodles of supportive social media channels, we have seen a gif resurrection; the transformation of the image-video halfway house into a modern-day content marketing talisman. Pop along to cinemagraphs.com / giphy.com / imgur.com / reddit.com and you’ll see stacks of gifs in all their glory.

True, many of them exist for the demonstration of comedy or light humour – but when applied to a serious marketing campaign they pack a punch. So much so, Google ads actively support their resurgence. One of my favourite examples is NY microbrewery, Dogfish Head, demonstrating their brewing process through the power of gif’s in the most evocative way! But in the main, many are shorter, sharper and straight to the point as part of ad campaigns – here’s a bunch to sample. If hitting the nostalgic sweet spot for a web-savvy generation wasn’t enough - the real beauty of today’s gif exists because ‘the people’ have the ability to create and push their own content.

Balancing the scales between the typical media houses. Unlike video ads, this technology doesn’t have an overlord governing its use – rather several large tech powerhouses embracing it. With the likes of Vine, Tumblr and Twitter harnessing the medium; it only empowers the masses to do more. Should they will it - any good piece of content can go viral. So when you’re in need of some great content for you’re next marketing campaign, or going through the process of having some made – give gif’s a thought. They scream loudly – without saying anything at all.

Gif Libraries: http://giphy.com/ http://cinemagraphs.com/ https://www.tumblr.com/explore/gifs/ Gif Makers: http://makeagif.com/ http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/best-apps-to-make-animated-gifs/