Jif Partnered With Giphy to Make a Limited-Edition Peanut Butter No One Can Pronounce

The internet's favorite consonant debate is reignited

A jar of Jif that says GIF on it
Jif's "Gif" edition went on sale via Amazon today.
Jif

OK now we’re not sure how to pronounce anything.

Jif peanut butter today unveiled a limited-edition jar labeled “Gif” as part of a clever partnership with GIF repository Giphy. The stunt, created by Publicis’ PSOne agency in New York, reignites a long-running debate about the correct pronunciation of GIF.

By now, most have made up their minds on the matter one way or the other, but Jif saw fit to create some semantic synesthesia by putting a G on a brand name we all know starts with a “juh” sound (unlike GIF, which is of course a hard-G sound like “glove” or “get over your lame argument about how the creator of GIFs pronounced it”).

The special Gif edition of otherwise normal Jif peanut butter—which also has the original label on the opposite side—went on sale via Amazon today at a price of $9.99. (Update: The limited edition appeared to have sold out by 12:40 p.m. ET.)

The official point of the campaign, which might get lost in the disagreements along the way, is meant to be that GIF is definitely pronounced with a hard G, unlike Jif.

“We’re teaming up with Giphy to put a lid on this decade-long debate and prove there is only one Jif. It’s creamy, delicious peanut butter, not a looping picture you can send to make friends and family laugh,” said Rebecca Scheidler, vp of marketing at Jif. “So spread the word like Jif on bread: Jif is peanut butter, GIFs are animations.”

In addition to the limited-edition label, PSOne created a video featuring a supposed professor of “linjuistics” explaining why GIF is so obviously pronounced Jif.

Meanwhile, the brand partnered with Giphy to create a series of branded gifs—housed on a Giphy.com/Jif landing page—that will fuel social media arguments for months and years to come:

Given that this debate is central to how Giphy pronounces its own name, the company has a clear point of view on the hard-or-soft-G situation.

“At Giphy, we know there’s only one ‘Jif’ and it’s peanut butter,” said Alex Chung, founder and CEO of Giphy. “If you’re a soft G, please visit Jif.com. If you’re a hard G, thank you, we know you’re right. Whether you like your Gs hard or soft, let’s all share some fun and let peanut butter unite us in saying GIF and eating Jif.”

The “Jif vs. GIF” campaign is the newest installment in a revived creative marketing push from the peanut butter brand since parent J.M. Smucker Company consolidated its creative with Publicis in 2018.  While Publicis has worked to reboot the advertising for several J.M. Smucker brands, including Folger’s and namesake jam brand Smucker’s, it most notable work has been on the Jif account.

In August 2019, Jif rolled out a campaign called That Jif’ing Good featuring two unexpectedly attention-grabbing spots: Squirrel (starring a disturbingly man-sized nut lover) and Bunker, a twisting tale of an alien apocalypse. Adweek named Bunker one of the best ads of 2019.

“Since last year’s launch of the That Jif’ing Good campaign, the brand has truly embraced its new-found irreverence,” said Erica Roberts, executive creative director at Publicis’ PSOne. “This is what gave us the permission to meaningfully jump into the Jif vs. GIF debate after nearly a decade. It’s really the first time in the brand’s history where hijacking a conversation like this is actually on brand. I’m so proud of the PSOne and Giphy teams for tapping into the absurdity of the debate and ratcheting it up to the next level.”

CREDITS:
Client: The J. M. Smucker Company
Brand: Jif
Campaign Title: #JifvsGIF

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