Recognizing the "Exponential Factor"

One of the most engaging and, arguably, inexpensive forms of advertising online are animated gifs. What could be simpler than a little ad that flips from one frame to another?

The physical size of the ad itself can be so small and cute, and only requires low resolution imagery to view online. There’s no video involved, just a couple of still frames with a few words each, closing with a logo and call to action. Basically a digital Burmashave. Easey-peasey, right?

But then, in walks The Exponential Factor.

The Exponential Factor comes in when the ad needs to be bilingual. Wait, no, trilingual. And it needs to speak to three different audiences, so it will require three different images and/or messages.

Plus, it needs to be created in three very different ad formats: a wide banner, a square, and a tall skyscraper... but it still needs to look like the same ad.

Individually, each gif appears as one simple little ad, but due to the Exponential Factor we know it's just the tip of the iceberg.


With "TEF", the formula might look a bit like this:
1 ad concept x (frame 1 + frame 2) (3 languages) (3 audiences) (3 sizes) = 54 frames
÷ 2 = 27 animated 2-frame gifs
= 1 ad

And if just one tiny comma needs to be removed… well, you do the math.