The Brief: Peanut butter brand Jif teamed up with the GIF website Giphy to inform the public about the 'correct' pronunciation of GIF.
GIPHY + JIF Collab
Watch out Baby Nut, a new peanut-themed brand Twitter event is here. GIPHY and Jif released a digital marketing campaign based on the premise that GIF is pronounced with a hard G, and that to pronounce it as “jif” is incorrect. Although these two brands claim that their mission is to “put the lid” on this debate, their claim may actually stir up more confusion and controversy. Either way, they’re starting a conversation that relates back to their brands and products.
To honor this announcement, Jif is releasing limited-edition jars of peanut butter with “GIF” printed on one side of the label and Jif on the other side. According to the product description, this peanut butter is “Perfect for sandwiches, baking, and shutting down internet debates and “Contains about 34 servings of peanut butter, and zero looping images.” These jars are currently sold out, but keep an eye out to see if they come back in stock.
— GIPHY (@GIPHY) February 25, 2020
— Jif® Peanut Butter (@Jif) February 25, 2020
How DO You Pronounce GIF?
Arguments to pronounce GIF with a hard G (gif) include that GIF is an acronym for Graphical Interchange Format and that words like “gift” are pronounced with a hard G.
The main argument for a soft pronunciation (jif) is that the creator of the GIF, Steve Wilhite has publicly stated: “It’s pronounced JIF, not GIF.”
The Oxford English Dictionary lists both pronunciations of GIF. While you can probably get away with calling GIFs whatever you’d like, some pronunciation sticklers, including perhaps Jif or Giphy may correct you.
Peanut Butter GIFs
Jif and GIPHY’s promotional partnership includes the release of special edition GIFs about the GIF/Jif confusion.