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Old School GIFs Turn into Top Ads on Tumblr

PicardFacepalmThe GIF file format has been around since 1987 and people have been arguing over how to pronounce it ever since. Is it a soft “g” as in Jif the peanut butter or hard “g” as in golly this is a cool gizmo. Potato – potahtoe: how ever you pronounce it, the Gif has become synonymous with the animated image.

Let’s get this straight. Some GIFs just sit there and look pretty, but in the early 90′s we discovered they could move and suddenly the internet was alive with flying cats, dancing babies and TV characters making the same face over and over again. Here’s a fact I just made up: 90% of all GIFs were created by TV and movie fans.

These GIFs run in a short loop that makes a Vine video look like a 3-Act play. And though they seem simple enough, making a GIF that catches on is actually quite tricky. Maybe even trickier than creating a 30-second video ad for YouTube.

And so we gather together to congratulate the marketing geniuses who turned the humble GIF into a top twenty Tumblr ad.

The list comes from AdWeek. The ads were ranked based on “stats such as reblogs and likes (Tumblr uses “notes,” which can be either of the two) for the promos’ first 24 hours on the site.”

Starting at the bottom:

The Walking Dead took the 20th spot with a single image made up of 9 moving tiles. Creepy times 10.

Next we have the DJing kitties from Fresh Step, ads for This is the End and About Time, along with a Red Balloon takeoff for Hulu and a wacky dancer doing his thing for Adult Swim.

Jansport took 14th place with a very simple, color-changing backpack GIF.

AT&T turned their adorable “It’s Not Complicated” campaign into a Mother’s Day ad that got them 50,000 shares.

Natalie Portman’s luscious lips helped Dior gather 52,000 Tumblr “notes” and Veteran’s United used a sweet, patriotic ad to pull us in.

Top 10

tt-tumblr-homedepot-01-2013Number 10 is another creepy 9-block. This one for the movie The Purge.

Trolli took the 9th spot with a creepy in a different way ad featuring a dog made of gum.

Comedy Central got 75,000 likes on their amusing James Franco roast ad.

Sony capitalized on the captive One Direction fanbase, delivering an odd ad that shows one band member slapping another. That brought in 113,000 likes.

Zach Galifianakis and The Hangover III took 6th.

Home Depot claimed 5th with a strange (which seems to be the key to a lot of these ads) Star Wars themed Fourth of July ad.

Ford gets my “I’ve seen it and still don’t get it” award for their “And is Better” campaign.

A smiling Leonardo DiCaprio hefting a glass of bubbly in The Great Gatsby took 3rd.

Converse made simple line-drawing sneakers dance into 2nd place.

And the number one Tumblr ad for 2013 is. . . . . .

Despicable Me 2!

315,000 notes since July, of which 58 percent have been reblogs.

tt-tumblr-despicable-me-01-2013

Dare I ask? What’s your current favorite GIF?