Getting GIF-y With It: How Medieval Times Increased Click-Through Rates

How does a restaurant famous for celebrating the 11th Century captivate modern fans? With jousting, noble knights and GIFs on Twitter, naturally.

We worked with Medieval Times on a fun campaign designed to improve the click-through rates on their social media ads. Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is an entertainment venue with nine locations, and has been made world famous by its many enthusiastic fans and for being featured in movies and on television.

Diners enjoy a themed meal while watching jousts in an enormous arena housed in a castle: The setting is unsurprisingly popular with people celebrating milestones, including birthdays or even Sunday Fundays.

Medieval Times engaged us at Respondology for a Reply-Based Advertising™ (RBA) campaign. Our platform uses AI and human review to place brand-safe advertising content immediately in front of the people who matter. When people would post on Twitter about an upcoming birthday celebration, Medieval Times – using Reply-Based Advertising™ – immediately sent them a fun suggestion to celebrate in a ROYAL way and with a discount.

We know that images increase the response and engagement rate in Tweets, so when the functionality of GIFs was rolled out into RBA campaigns, we were excited to see how they could impact results. With Medieval Times, we had a dynamic opportunity – the entertainment venue is one of the most visually exciting dining experiences in the country.

The results were worth celebrating: By using GIFs in their Reply Ads, Medieval Times saw a 12 percent increase in their Reply-Based Advertising™ click-through rate.

Why GIFs for this campaign?

  1. Dynamic – In addition to being a dynamic way for brands to show – not tell – their story, they resonate with the audience.
  2. Memorable – The movement of the GIF attracts the eye, allowing the brand’s Reply Ad to stand out in a sea of content.
  3. Viewability – They are engaging, but short: Viewers are likely to watch a GIF from beginning to end.
  4.  Viral – They are most often used in amusing ways – and were most certainly in the Medieval Times campaign – making it more likely that the audience would “like” or “retweet” the ads.

We knew that we could increase engagement with the Medieval Times ads. We were delighted that we were able to do so at such a large margin. Since our mission is to create content that connects, we were delighted with the GIF results.


About the author: Erik Swain is president of Respondology, a Boulder-based marketing technology firm specializing in Reply-Based Advertising, which combines AI and human review.