“The scale and ongoing relevance of this idea goes above and beyond the one-time blip that brands often make in social media.” —juror Mark Renshaw
“Always love this idea, a true grasp on the social pulse. Perfect combination of the power of social media and data. I think this brings a new interpretation of creative data.” —juror Natalie Lam
Overview: Knowing that thicker-than-blood NFL rivalries unfold online, EA Games decided to launch Madden NFL 15 through the Internet’s favorite language: GIFs. Advertising agency Grow created Madden GIFERATOR, which generated a live stream of animated GIFs triggered by the action unfolding on TV. The NFL’s new generation of fans could also take control of the GIFERATOR and create their own GIFs on any device, celebrating winning moments and zinging their rivals throughout the entire football season.
•GIFERATOR is part of Google’s Art, Copy & Code initiative. It lived under the umbrella of Madden Season, a campaign created by EA Game’s agency, Heat.
•The GIFERATOR launched for the opening weekend of the 2015 NFL season and ran for the entire season, creating GIFs for more than 250 NFL games.
Comments by Grow:
How many videos, images and other media elements does it have? “The entire experience was powered by live NFL data. Within seconds of each play, the GIFERATOR quickly analyzed all elements of the play: yards, teams, player, play type, scores and other logical triggers. The GIFERATOR then picked from a huge library of Madden artwork, more than 11,000 headlines and 260 background combinations to create the perfect GIF. Headlines could be customized with real-time stats and scores to take it to another level.”
Are there any other technical features you’d like to call attention to? “The challenge was to create brilliant copywriting in real time and at scale. At one point, we were testing a ‘live war room’ scenario, and we saw the same GIF published twice. We sent it to quality assurance only to find out that the artificial intelligence engine had picked the same artwork and headline as had the copywriter in front of a computer, so we knew we were onto something.”
What was the response? “Madden GIFERATOR launched during NFL’s kickoff weekend, and by Monday, it had been used to create more than 200,000 GIFs. GIFERATOR then catapulted into popular culture—it began trending on Tumblr, spawned its own subreddit and exploded on Twitter. The media piled on, covering GIFERATOR from every angle with more than 160 press articles. Outlets as diverse as The Washington Post and BuzzFeed, Fox Sports and College-Humor, and Fast Company and Maxim jumped on the GIFERATOR and shared all the creative, crazy and counterintuitive ways people found to use it, such as a re-creation of the Bible’s Old Testament—all with Madden GIFs.”