GIFs have thrown down on your texts, your Facebook feed and your emails. As of Thursday, these short animated images can make a bigger impact on your party-planning abilities.
Splash, a four-year-old event marketing company, has added a GIF tool that makes it easier to incorporate GIFs to your email invites and reminders along with your event planning sites. Splash now integrates with Giphy -- the world’s largest library of animated GIFs, called the GIF search engine. Founded in 2013, Giphy made headlines in January when the startup announced a $17 million round of funding.
Millions in cash, for sure, caught the attention of Splash CEO Ben Hindman. The 30-year-old entrepreneur was formerly the event manager at the men's lifestyle media company Thrillist. “I saw Giphy had raised an absurd amount of cash. I said, ‘What the h--- is this?’ Later I was invited out to drinks with the Giphy team,” Hindman told International Business Times. “Turns out I’m sitting across from the editor-in-chief of Giphy.” (Yes, the search engine of GIFs has an editor-in-chief.)
— Splash (@splashthat) August 27, 2015
That night’s conversation delved into the virtue and the future of GIFs. “His belief is that there are no other mediums that are able to convey mode, tone and emotion in an instant,” Hindman said.
Hindman's Splash, which has worked with some of the biggest, richest brands in the world to throw events, is centered on making an impact to invitees and driving them to events. Not only to ensure attendance but to guarantee they will be brand ambassadors before, during and after the event.
So where do GIFs come in? “Emotions drive action,” Hindman said. According to Giphy's team, GIFs perfectly encapsulate emotions. Not only that, they can be much easier to make than an Instagram video or a Vine compilation. Last week, Giphy released a new mobile app called Giphy Cam that allows consumers and brands to create a GIF in seconds.
Ad agency 72andSunny used a GIF on a web page, powered by Splash, to promote singer-songwriter BØRNS "Lucid Candy" experience in Culver City, California. (Source: 72andSunny/Giphy)
Partygoers can expect to see “many more” GIFs on Splash pages, Hindman said. Already Melbourne-based creative strategy firm “The Lab,” monthly wine subscription startup Glassful and ad agency 72andSunny for singer-songwriter BØRNS employ GIFs for events.
While GIFs could always be added to Splash pages, the partnership with Giphy allows for GIF search and integration with a few clicks -- though brokering this deal with Giphy did not happen at the click of a button. “This had to become a [business-to-business] deal. They’ve almost created a monopoly over the GIF network,” Hindman said. “And then we had to build it. We put an intern on it and came in for the summer and made sure this happened.”
The return-on-investment has yet to be determined. But Splash is all about analytics. The company plans to provide marketers and other party-throwers with insights about how their GIFs are performing.