GIFs, long the animated image format of the people, have sold out. Where they were once a truly neutral file type, happy to serve as the basis for any looping clip the internet could imagine, GIFs have now partnered up with a peanut butter company in order to assist an ad campaign based on the file type’s proper pronunciation.
All of this is the result of a collaboration between Jif peanut butter and Giphy, the GIF database company, that wants to turn pedantic arguments about whether GIF should be said with a hard or soft “g” into a marketable product. The result is a pair of peanut butter jars, one labeled “Jif: Creamy Peanut Butter (soft “g” pronunciation)” and another that reads “Gif: Animated Looping Images (hard “g” pronunciation)” next to a Giphy logo.
This sucks. Jif and Giphy, using a poor innocent file format as a pawn, have turned a never-ending and ultimately pointless subject of internet arguments into fodder for a pre-planned “viral discussion.” Jif’s page for the campaign is brand Twitter obnoxiousness taken to its logical extremes. Not only can you actually buy the dumb peanut butter jars, but the website also suggests a hashtag that you can use to “make your opinion heard.”
“When is it OK to call a Gif a ‘Jif?’ Never,” the site reads. “Jif is peanut butter. GIFs are looping animations. SNACK ON THAT.”
Please ignore this invitation to get mad about the way you and others choose to say GIF using a Jif-designated hashtag. Channel that frustration into anything else—like, say, experimenting with almond butter-based recipe substitutions or deciding to make sandwiches using Skippy going forward.
Although it is theoretically possible to engage with this marketing campaign by purchasing the specially labeled jars on Amazon, they are currently, like GIFs themselves, sold out.
[via The Verge]
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