GIF vs Jif: Peanut butter maker wants to end the pronunciation debate

How do you pronounce GIF? J.M. Smucker Company releases special edition jars of Jif peanut butter to help settle one of the great tech debates.

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Image: Jif

Start spreading the news—and peanut butter—Jif is putting a longstanding tech controversy to rest. J.M. Smucker, the makers of the popular peanut butter, are using a marketing campaign to establish the correct pronunciations of Jif and GIF. 

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GIFs are one of the most popular features on social media platforms. Graphics interchange formats (GIFs), which were introduced to the world by Compuserve in 1987 are images or looped videos used to add humor and character to daily online interactions.

Typically used on Facebook or on instant messaging services, GIFs are a staple of everyday life, much like peanut butter. GIPHY is an online GIF search engine that allows people to search and share GIFs. The company supplies more than 7 billion GIFs per day and has more than 500 million daily active users, who all watch at least 11 million hours of GIFs every day.

GIF vs. Jif 

While the use of GIFs has been universal, the pronunciation of the images and animations has not. For more than five years, the public has argued over how to pronounce GIF

Many people refer to GIFs in the same way they say Jif, using a "soft G," according to a press release. 

The peanut butter brand is establishing, however, that this buttery pronunciation is only reserved for Jif; GIF is said using a "hard G."

"If you've ever called a .GIF a Jif®, we forgive you," the brand stated in the release. But to make the point even clearer, Jif and GIPHY are releasing a special edition, collectible peanut butter jar ahead of National Peanut Butter Lover's Day on March 1. 

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Image: Jif

"With the ever increasing popularity of GIFs that we all use daily, we felt now was the perfect time to clear up something that has been a universal point of confusion and debate for years,"  said Christine Hoffman, consumer engagement group lead at Jif.

The peanut butter, now available for under $10 on Amazon, features the classic Jif jar and logo, however, the Jif name is replaced by Gif. Under the name, the jar reads "animated looping images" and "hard G pronunciation." 

To bolster the Jif versus GIF debate, GIPHY created a suite of .gif files to commemorate the occasion. 

GIF applications

While GIFs are mostly paired with social platforms, rather than jelly, the moving images can also be useful on the business side. GIFs can great attention-getters in presentations or for marketing platforms, reported TechRepublic's Andy Wolbler. 

No matter the use case, GIFs are fun, especially when pronounced the correct way. 

"At GIPHY, we know there's only one Jif and it's peanut butter. If you're looking for all the GIFs, there's only one GIPHY," said Alex Chung, founder and CEO of GIPHY, in a press release. "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 special Gif jars will only be available until supplies run out, so fans should order quickly. 

For more, check out Cybercriminals using gifs to corrupt Drupal sites on TechRepublic.

Disclosure: TechRepublic may earn a commission from some of the products featured in this article.

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