Peanut Butter Brand Jif Settles The GIF Debate Once And For All

by : Cameron Frew on : 25 Feb 2020 17:36
Peanut Butter Brand Jif Settles The GIF Debate Once And For AllPeanut Butter Brand Jif Settles The GIF Debate Once And For AllJif

It’s the eternal online debate: does one pronounce GIF with a soft ‘g’ or a hard ‘g’? We may finally have an answer, thanks to peanut butter. 


The Twitter revolution and general advent of online communication has born witness to the empirical rise of the graphics interchange format – or GIF – allowing users to share fun, mini clips of their favourite shows, movies, videos and pretty much anything else.

Let me ask you to do something: think of your favourite GIFs. Now, when you read that, did you say GIF, like golf, or GIF with a soft ‘g’, like jelly? If you’re in the former camp, congratulations! If you’re in the latter, well, you’re wrong – even peanut butter brand Jif says so.

The hugely popular brand – part of J.M. Smucker Co. – has clearly had enough of people flagrantly name-dropping it in otherwise unrelated conversations.


In order to ‘put a lid on this decade-long debate’, once and for all, Jif has teamed up with online GIF database GIPHY for a (delicious) marketing campaign just ahead of National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day on March 1.

In a press release, Jif’s vice president of marketing Rebecca Scheidler said: ‘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.’

GIF-Jif Peanut Butter Debate GIF-Jif Peanut Butter Debate GIPHY

To really hit the point home, Jif is selling limited edition jars in time for the national celebration (they’re on sale on Amazon for $10, which is approximately twice the price of your standard jar).

The release added: 

With a tongue-in-cheek label, these collectibles can help Jif fans spread the news (get it?) that Jif – with a soft ‘g’ – should be all about the peanut butter. If you’ve ever called a GIF a Jif, we forgive you.

GIPHY founder and CEO Alex Chung added: ‘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.’

Barack Obama GIF GIFBarack Obama GIF GIFThe White House

GIFs were invented in 1987 by Steve Wilhite, a programmer at CompuServe. While the format was initially intended for still images, its ability to support animations spurred its widespread use as an expressive shorthand (think how many times you’ve used a GIF instead of typing a response).

However, the debate has rumbled for decades, with former US President Barack Obama even weighing in back in 2014: ‘A GIF [hard ‘g’]… That is my official position. I’ve pondered it a long time.’

It’s definitely pronounced with a hard ‘g’, not like Jif. Let’s all just eat some peanut butter, share some GIFs, and accept the ruling.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Food, gif, Jif, Peanut Butter, Technology