Acura Tweets Stop-Motion GIF, One Frame at a Time

For Acura fans who fancy a little joe on the go, the automaker tweeted just the treat last week.

A new Twitter stunt from Acura used Twitter’s new timeline image preview to display a series of images of the new Acura NSX prototype attached to tweets rewarding 150 fans with @tweetacoffee Starbucks gift cards. All of this was done in promotion of Jerry Seinfeld’s Web series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” in which the NSX prototype made an appearance Thursday.

“We thought this idea made a lot of sense since the show is about cars and coffee,” said Alicia Jones, the manager of Acura social marketing. “With the big appearance of Jay Leno and the new NSX, there would be buzz online anyway.”

The end result of all the tweeted images is that they act like a visual flip book as you scroll down the page. Each image acts as a frame of the animation. If you don’t want to scroll, you can look at the culmination of the images posted as a GIF on Acura’s tumblr. But to make sure it would all come together in real time, Acura, along with Mullen, made sure to do small quick tests of the images.

“We had to think through it and make sure that we did them sequentially in order,” said Jones. “If we had a scheduled tweet or tweeted something in the middle of it, it wouldn’t work. Mullen had a special Twitter handle that we did a test to made sure it worked, but when it did, we were good to go.”

To participate, Twitter users needed to tweet the hashtag #NSXCoffeeRun while the show aired. Acura, a Honda brand, was then able to tweet users a $5 @tweetacoffee Starbucks card along with a frame of the animation. Many were excited by the gift — and each tweet was retweeted upwards of 10 times:

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Since the promotion happened Thursday, Jones could not determine whether Acura’s Twitter handle had gained followers. In any case, the car company was excited by the positive feedback.

“People, of course, appreciated the coffee,” said Jones. “And once they saw they were a part of the bigger picture, they were excited about that.”

Here’s the final GIF:


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