Messaging App Kik Begins Providing Branded GIFs
Manufacturers, begin your GIF engines. Kik, the chat app with over 200 million registered customers, is giving corporations the prospect to reinforce their present advertising efforts with branded GIF campaigns on its messaging service.
Kik, which is valued at over $1 billion and notably widespread with teenagers/younger individuals in North America, is beginning out slowly. It chosen Zoolander 2 — the Paramount Footage’ movie that premiers February 12 — and WWF (the World Large Fund for Nature) as its first two branded GIF content material companions as a result of they greatest symbolize its concentrate on leisure (movies) and enjoyable (animal GIFs).
The launch of branded GIFs on Kik, that are charged based mostly on attain like different promotional models, comes some eighteen months after the Canada-based mostly firm started permitting manufacturers to function official accounts on its platform. They allow manufacturers to run bots that work together with customers to serve up content material or usually entertain utilizing predefined chat messages triggered by key phrases. Kik believes that branded GIFs — which don’t require a model to have an official account — open a brand new channel to unfold content material and entertain.
“Our viewers being youngsters and younger adults is a beautiful set for the suitable manufacturers,” Paul Grey, product strategist at Kik, advised TechCrunch in an interview. “[Branded GIFs] are about as native because it will get, they match naturally into conversations.”
Branded GIFs seem in Kik’s nifty emoji-powered GIF search engine identical to common GIFs, for instance the WWF panda above
Within the case of the upcoming Zoolander 2 movie, Grey defined that Paramount — which has run branded accounts on Kik up to now — was bought on the concept animated GIFs “get individuals excited and sharing concerning the transfer and not using a banner advert.” In different phrases, sharing a GIF from Zoolander 2 is a extra delicate strategy to get phrase out and, coming from a good friend and being enjoyable, the message may simply carry extra weight (or complement) on-line and offline advertising campaigns.
Grey stated that the branded GIF initiative will open to extra companions over the approaching few months, however he cautioned that Kik will probably be selective concerning the companions it really works with.
“We’ve all the time been very cautious with how we roll issues out,” he defined. “We do a variety of updates to [our overall library of] GIFs based mostly on seasonality. [With branded GIFs] we needed to be very cautious [and] speak to thrilling model companions.”
Rotating the number of GIFs is one thing that makes lots of sense, however is probably not apparent. Kik, for instance, added a collection of GIFs based mostly round DJ Khaled, whose antics on Snapchat made him right into a viral hit, whereas it additionally lately launched devoted GIFs for the upcoming Tremendous Bowl 50 remaining and the NBA All-Star recreation. When it comes to branded GIFs, Grey sees the Academy Awards and VMAs as occasions the place manufacturers may reap the benefits of this new choice inside Kik, assuming they cross Kik’s ‘coolness’ standards.
Kik was among the many first pioneers of chat bots (it even acquired the corporate behind one bot), which is an idea that Slack, Fb Messenger and others at the moment are embracing. It’ll be fascinating to see if its strategy to branded GIFs is replicated by others, too.