Whether you pronounce it with a hard G or like the peanut butter brand, GIFs are undeniably a staple in modern digital media. You see them on your Twitter feed or share them with friends in your group chat. We’re now seeing them become increasingly popular in the digital advertising world. So, do GIF banner ads actually get more engagement? That’s the question!

In this post, we’ll cover the advantages of GIF banner ads and how advertisers can boost engagement when using them.

What Are GIF Banner Ads?

A GIF (graphics interchange format) is an image file format that stores several image files and displays them quickly, resulting in an animated effect. In simple terms, a GIF is an animated looping image.

The traditional banner ad is static text and imagery. A GIF banner ad incorporates animated text and/or visuals while still containing the essential elements of a conventional banner (i.e., text, CTA, imagery, branding).

GIFs can display in multiple ways in ads. The ad may animate text, an imagery carousel, small background elements and more.

Do GIF Banner Ads Get More Attention than Static Banner Ads?

The digital landscape floods users with display ads, challenging advertisers to develop new, creative ways to get attention. Is there evidence to support that animated ads outperform static ads? Here are some stats on the subject:

  • GIFs are wildly popular and familiar to most internet users. More than 700 million people use GIPHY to share upward of 10 billion GIFs daily.
  • A study revealed that animated banner ads create more engagement, generating higher recall, more favorable Aad (attitude toward the ad) and higher click-through intention than static ads.
  • More data on the subject comes from banner ad research. Animated creative averaged a 7% higher conversion rate. Those with six to nine seconds of animation had the greatest performance, at 138% higher conversions.

By incorporating GIFs into an advertising strategy, your advertisers will speak their audience’s language, appealing to their preferred way of consuming content. The statistics echo this sentiment.

GIFs in Banner Ads Can Also Negate Banner Blindness

GIF banner ads also help advertisers overcome banner blindness. Banner blindness describes someone willfully or unconsciously ignoring banner ads. The animation can drive a user to look at it more closely. The content still matters, so it needs to be as relevant and personalized as possible.

Let’s look at some specific industry ideas.

What Types of Advertisers Are a Good Fit for GIFs?

When talking with clients about new banner ad ideas, here are some conversation starters by industry.

Retailers: Fashion and Beauty

The nature of the fashion and beauty industries is highly visual, making it the perfect candidate for the visually exciting GIF ad. Both clothing and makeup have items in multiple colors. A banner ad featuring an animated image with each hue available gives the potential buyer all the options. The color palette is a big part of buying decisions, so viewers can see the shade they love.

Promotions are a great opportunity to slip a GIF into a banner ad. Animate the text “Get One Free” for a BOGO sale to draw the eye directly to the deal.


Automotive is another industry with a product that people want to see. Features are also a key consideration point for buyers in the market for a new vehicle. Here are some concepts:

  • Show off multiple models, colors and features depending on what the advertiser wants to emphasize.
  • Rotate customizable elements of the cars with an animated image.
  • Add a CTA engaging the audience to play around with the different combinations of attributes. Such an ad prompts the user to visit the dealership website for an interactive experience.


Create buzz for a company recruiting campaign with banner ads that use GIFs. Recruitment advertising relies less on imagery and more on text and CTAs. Use animated text to rotate two or three employee testimonials on the company culture in one dynamic ad. Guide the eye to a compelling CTA with the use of motion. Use GIFs to tell a company’s story and give candidates an idea of who they are.

Food and Beverage:

Consumers like to see rather than read, especially regarding food and beverages. You can suggest animated banner ads for restaurants, grocery and spirits retailers, such as:

  • Sharing enticing images of food and drink specials to engage
  • Offering food and wine pairing recommendations through animated images
  • Creating a sense of urgency for limited-time deals with an animated ticking clock or calendar countdown
  • Showing off multiple seasonal ingredients to inspire viewers to crave fresh new flavors

Along with these campaign ideas, there are more things to share with local advertisers.

5 Reasons to Recommend GIF Banner Ads

Why should you be recommending GIF banners to advertisers? Yes, the motion is inherently engaging, but GIFs can add so much more. When used correctly, a GIF banner is a great branding tool.

  • Allow the brand’s personality to shine: Advertisers have room to inject humor and fun into their banner ads with GIFs. This is a great way to humanize a brand, incorporate emotion and convey personality.
  • Appeal to the way people consume media: Short-form video is all the rage, with TikTok and Instagram Reels producing some of the most popular content on social media. GIFs are typically less than 60 seconds, which allows for fast message delivery.
  • Encourage interaction: Effective banner ads draw an audience in and elicit action. By adding GIFs, advertisers are one step closer to achieving this goal. You’ve got their attention; it’s time to get the click with a compelling and exciting CTA.
  • Attract attention and increase visibility: Motion is immediately eye-catching. Videos get 1,200% more shares than text and images combined. Videos and animation are more stimulating and can keep attention longer than a still image might.
  • Advise on the versatile nature of GIFs: GIF banner ads are versatile. They work with educational or instructional campaigns without the use of text. They can present multiple products in one ad and fit almost any industry.

Get Advertisers “Animated” About GIFs

When the aim for advertisers is engagement, GIFs are an excellent tactic. With these stats, ideas and strategies, your advertisers will appreciate this unique approach.

Get more creative inspiration by reading these posts:
Banner Ad Best Practices
Using Memes in Ad Campaigns: How to Do It Right
Digital Creative Best Practices: New Messaging, Visuals and More to Improve Ad Performance