Cannes Lions


PUBLICIS, New York / JIF / 2020

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Case Film
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The Situation: After a 50-year-long campaign targeting choosy moms, Jif lost its relevancy among younger consumers, who were now the ones responsible for driving category growth. Without being top of mind, they were drifting away from the brand without even realizing it.

The Brief: Put Jif back on the map of pop culture.

The Objective: Jif needed to achieve fame and drive engagement with younger peanut butter people by stirring up buzz online through a limited-edition release. We needed to tap into a conversation our audience couldn’t help but engage in, with a one-of-a-kind product they couldn’t resist. Deriving inspiration from the great debate– how to pronounce “GIF”? – we created a culturally-relevant moment that only Jif could own.

The Budget: $260k

Project Scale and Volume: The limited-edition jar went to influencers, celebrities and media outlets. Only a few thousand were released for sale on Amazon.


In 2020, we hacked a debate that was raging for nearly a decade among our young internet culture-loving audience. GIF--the file format--is it pronounced Jif or GIF? Hard G or Soft G? It seemed as though everyone had picked a side.

Together, with GIPHY—the world’s largest GIF platform and fellow Hard G’ers—we launched #JifvsGIF, taking on the inventor of the GIF, professional linguists, and millions of keyboard warriors worldwide who had been calling the graphic interchange format the same name as our beloved peanut butter.


Insight: Through social listening, we discovered that every time Jif brand mentions spiked, it had to do with the debate over the pronunciation of “GIF.” This was the one place people were talking about the brand because it was unclear how to pronounce GIF – like gift or like Jif peanut butter.

Key message: There are over 5 billion GIFs, but there is only one Jif and it’s the world’s best damn peanut butter.

Target: Jif had traditionally focused on parents of young children, but social conversation showed the most passionate peanut butter fans were actually young adults who loved sharing their opinion on every trending conversation on social media.

Assets: We partnered up with GIPHY to develop custom branded GIF assets to facilitate debate, created limited-edition jars that would spur media interest, and with Funny or Die to release a foil video to keep the debate going.


We teamed up with GIPHY just in time for National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day to take a stance on the pronunciation and set the record straight once and for all with #JifvsGIF.

We tapped into the limited-edition cultural trend to create a unique Jif ‘Gif’ jar that declared our intention to end the GIF pronunciation debate. Jars were seeded to 50 media outlets under embargo, which created a flurry of coverage on launch day. They also were sold exclusively on Amazon as a special limited-edition item only. Consumers, and the internet, loved it.

We stirred up social buzz through 19 micro influencers, including comedians, pop culture voices and linguists to drive conversation.

We also created a series of Jif GIFs for both influencers and consumers to share and partnered with Funny or Die to release a fake video counterargument to hilariously extend the dialogue on day 2 of the activation.


Sending the jar to media outlets and influencers was an effective technique. From trades to tech pubs, broadcast to business outlets, media coverage was effusive and extensive. We earned 2.2B earned media impressions and $137M in earned media. We exceeded our goal by 238% thanks to 1000 earned placements and 700+ placement from broadcast pickup, which contributed to a huge show in social chatter.

The initial batch of 2,350 jars sold out in just 3 hours. We quickly pulled together another 1,000 to meet the high demand and sold out in minutes. It was the #1 new release in Grocery and Gourmet on Amazon and many jars started appearing on eBay for 5x the price.

Even the creator of the GIF, Steve Wilhite, tried to snag one but missed out. We hand-delivered it just for him, even though he still pronounces it “Jif.”

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