GIFs, animated online video clips, have proliferated as a means to share moments from favorite TV shows, films and sporting events. And the folks at one Santa Monica ad agency have found them so amusing they created an awards show dedicated to the micromovies. They call them Gifys.

A team at Crispin Porter & Bogusky launched the awards show last week, with voting open to the public until Tuesday. (GIF stands for graphic interchange format, but the full name is little if ever used.)

William Sawyer, copywriter at Crispin Porter and co-founder of the awards, said the idea came about while brainstorming campaign ideas for a client.

“It just seemed like a fun thing to do,” said Sawyer. “So, we talked about it and we’re, like, ‘What if we made this ourselves?’ So we did.”

Sawyer and event co-founders Mary Dauterman and Chelsea O’Brien, who both also work at Crispin Porter, began developing the awards show in the summer. Once it was complete, Sawyer said the agency decided to help present the awards.

Nominees for the Gifys are spread across 12 categories such as film and TV, sports and animals – cats have their own category.

A panel of 15 new-media insiders from Buzzfeed, Gawker, Tumblr, Mashable and Engadget helped gather and choose the nominees, he said.

The winners will be announced during an awards show at the end of this month at the agency’s office. At the end of the evening event, which will be live tweeted, a hall of fame site featuring the winners will be launched on the Gifys website.

Sawyer said there are no plans to make it an annual event, but he’s hopeful it will happen.

“We definitely want to see what it’s like for now,” he said. “But I would love to do it again next year.”

First Feature

Mid-Wilshire ad agency and production company Stun Creative previously created campaigns for its clients, but now the firm is making its own TV and Web shows.

Now its co-founders have gotten their names on a film, “Welcome to the Jungle,” a film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme that will open Feb. 7 in select U.S. theaters. The comedy is about a company retreat gone wrong.

Mark Feldstein and Brad Roth, co-founders of Stun, didn’t create the film, but they were hired as executive producers.

Feldstein said accepting the opportunity came down to four words.

“Jean-Claude Van Damme,” he said. “That’s really what it was.”

Stun, which launched in 2000, has a staff size of 100 and handles ad campaigns for clients such as TV networks ABC, NBC and Bravo.

The agency amped up its creation and development of original content in the last year – snagging deals to create two different Web shows, one for the CW network and another for Glamour magazine’s website.

Feldstein said it was a natural transition because the agency has the resources to produce its own television and online shows.

“We have the creative talent in-house and production infrastructure,” he said. “We’re creative. So, why don’t we do this ourselves?”

The agency is in development on a scripted comedy series for E Entertainment Television and a music-themed show for MTV.

But its main business will remain ads.

“Advertising will always be our core,” Feldstein said. “But we are now expanding in a way to explore other forms of content.”

Agencies & Accounts

Ad agency Wongdoody in Culver City has hired Pam Fujimoto as executive creative director. Fuijmoto previously served as creative director at Creature in Seattle. … Modus Operandi, an ad agency in Hollywood, has named Jay Gundzik senior creative director. Gundzik previously served as senior creative director at EA Sports in Vancouver, British Columbia. … Ad agency Daily in West Hollywood has acquired additional candy business from Glendale’s Nestle. Daily will work on the company’s Skinny Cow Candy and Ice Cream. ... Pollack PR Marketing Group in Century City has signed Scouler & Co., a financial advisory firm in New York. Pollack will develop Scouler’s PR strategies. … Mercury Public Affairs, a PR firm in Los Angeles, has named Vance Hickin senior vice president of digital. Hickin was formerly a principal at digital marketing firm Highway One Consulting in downtown Los Angeles. ... PR firm Finn Partners has been named the agency of record for public relations and social media forEmeryville’s Jamba Juice. The account will be led by Brenda Lynch from Finn’s Century City office. … Ad agency Ignited in El Segundo has named Stacy Sanchez and Rich Kim group media directors. Sanchez served as vice president and group account director at Initiative in Mid-Wilshire. Kim, also from Initiative, served as vice president and group digital media director.

Staff reporter Subrina Hudson can be reached at or (323) 549-5225, ext. 251.

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