Why Google and EA Sports are turning fall into GIF giving season

Those magic seconds… whether it’s reaching your audience with the right message at just the right time or understanding what he or she is thinking in the moment, in advertising, as in advertising research, we know those magic seconds are what matters most. That’s why it was so intriguing to read this recent AdWeek article about EA Sports’ new Google advertising program aimed at catching NFL fans with custom animated gif ads and messages that relate directly to the game action they’re watching at that moment on screen.  Per the article, this new real time marketing technology, “Represents Google’s answer to social media channels like Twitter, which seem to dominate the second-screen conversation when it comes to football and other live events.” Google is able to do this using new technology that creates digital ads in the moment and serves them up to fans who are “profiled” for their behavior of browsing sports-related sites. According to Google, thousands of variations of each gif exists and is selected and served up to fit with the real time game action.

So say, for example, you were watching the live game between the Seahawks and Packers, which kicked off the NFL season and Seahawk defensive back Richard Sherman intercepted a pass. Within seconds, as you browse on your tablet or phone, you may be served up this ad:


Image courtesy of EA Sports

Google and EA Sports are banking on the ads driving social sharing and conversations. In fact, EA has even created a dedicated site—called the Giferator—that allows fans to create their own gifs featuring their favorite team’s players. As gifs are viewed and shared, Google and EA gather data allowing them to target their ads even more specifically—say by the specific NFL team you are a fan of.

With our team here at Dialsmith fixated on an audience’s in the moment responses and impressions, we’ll be interested to see if this program reaps big rewards for both EA Sports and Google. In the meantime, be great if Google could put some thought into knowing when my stomach is growling and serve me up a chocolate chip muffin.