We have now produced a quite a few GIFFS for different clients. The great thing about digital is that there is an immediate and fully quantifiable response. You know right away if your Giff is connecting with the audience or not. With considerable feedback data now, we have a good idea of what works.
-Don’t be cheesy. It needs to be organic, a bit crazy, and totally modern. This is the single hardest thing to impress upon clients. They are so used to having images that are pre-conceived to death, that they really have trouble getting their minds around the spontaneous and the organic. It goes against the first rule of the ad exec: Not failing is more important than trying something new that may really connect. But in the digital economy, its all about cutting through the noise to conect to your customer. Be different, be cool, the data says that works.
-Movement in 3 areas is best. That is the camera moves, there is something moving in the background, and the subject moves. The blinking girl we locked on a tripod because the background movement was too much with the type, but there is still a bit of movement in the background which I really like.
-Non-linear can be fine. For most of the GIFFs we do, it is a straight linear sequence. But the 2 guys with guitars are not. We found that by skipping whole groups of frames and making it more VINE like, it got more hits. Go figure.
-Accidents are great. So if there is one frame out of 15 where the autofocus messes up, that is wonderful. Its the off bit that makes them compelling, not making them perfect.