With a stringent 140-character limit on text, it’s no surprise Twitter has been rolling out multimedia features to boost engagement. After introducing photo sharing back in 2011, Twitter delved further into sight, sound and motion with the acquisition of Vine in 2012, then began allowing users to share six-second video clips on Twitter itself at the beginning of 2013. Recently the microblogging platform took another step to simplifying video sharing, with its announcement at the end of June that it is supporting animated GIFs.
While the news that Twitter now supports GIFs didn’t make much of a splash at the time (the consensus reaction among those who noticed: “finally!”) advertisers and media companies have been using the new capability to good effect. Of course law requires that 75% of all online video sharing features funny cats, but the GIFs are also well suited to promoting non-feline video content like TV shows and movies.
On that note, in July and August Adaptly used Promoted Tweets with GIFs to build awareness for the premiere of IFC’s Garfunkel & Oates, a new show about the comedy folk-duo of the same name, starring Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome. You may remember Micucci as the weird, mousy scene-stealer with a ukulele from Raising Hope; you may also remember an amusing music video by the duo contrasting the attitudes of two single women at the ages of 29 and 31 (short version: a swift downward journey into the existential abyss).
IFC also ran the promotions on Facebook, tying the campaign in with National Friendship Day. According to the IFC the Promoted Tweets with animated GIFs have garnered around 336,000 views, with a 95% completion rate, an attracted 17,000 new followers for IFC. Meanwhile the Facebook tie-in produced around 32,000 likes, and the videos have been shared over 57,000 times.
Adaptly president Sean O’Neal noted: “Since IFC was promoting a new TV show, animated creative was important and we wanted to incorporate auto-play animation where possible. This is where clever strategy helps. When Twitter released animated GIF technology at the end of June, there was some light trade media coverage but there hadn’t been a strong follow-on showing how it performs for advertisers -- until now.”