The new movie poster for Looper is an animated GIF, the first of its kind, and it's sparking a whole new conversation about GIFS in the media. For those that are not familiar with the term, GIFS are images that are displayed one after another in order to create a form of animation. This form of media is becoming more popular as the technology continues to expand into the digital era, as everything is online-based including TV and movies.
Looper may be the first film to release an animated GIF poster, but there are already several fan-made posters for different television and movies online. For example, there are blogs on Tumblr dedicated to making GIFS from movie or TV scenes. Fans also create blogs in which to show others how to create their own GIF posters, usually through an application such as Photoshop. The idea is that the fans have been creating the content online and sharing it through blogs or social networks for some time. In today’s digital era, those that are not up-to-date with how fast the media industry changes may fall behind and lose an interested audience.
It is not surprising, then, that the makers of Looper decided to take a new approach to advertising with its poster. The initial animated poster for the movie led the animator’s and artists on the production team to produce a third trailer that involved painting over 700 frames. The fact that GIFS are growing into something which is increasingly popular is mostly based on the fact that the form of media is compatible with most online viewing and that most television and movies can be streamed online.
There is still a long way to go for online media, but it is growing based on a user need. It is essential for companies to make their products and services usable and viable to customers; in this same way media corporations must understand how to reach out to all audiences in a new way. Those that viewed the Looper poster or similar posters did so online showing that some the traditional forms of media are being pushed aside in favor of a more web-based approach. Marili ‘t Hooft-Bolle from RealNetworks was quoted in PC World in 2010 as saying, “It’s still early days for online video but as each year passes the quality and breadth of online video content increase dramatically … It’s clear that the one-to-one, on demand online environment is taking over.” In just two years, it seems as though online video and media are only making strides and staying current with the overflow of online content.
The popularity of the GIF into a marketable form of advertising is only making people more excited about the media. It helps that Looper is a science fiction, time-travel thriller and interest becomes piqued fairly quickly. In an online format, posters and images can get around faster and to more people and GIFS only help to expand the process to gain a large audience of viewers.