• Sprint has partnered with the startup Tenor to create a series of gif ads tied to its Super Bowl commercial.
  • The wireless company is hoping both Eagles and Patriot fans share images from its campaign to communicate with friends while watching the game Sunday night.
  • Tenor is also planning to create gifs for all of the Super Bowl ads as well as key plays during the game.

Sprint wants to help you share your feelings during this year’s Super Bowl.

The wireless company has partnered with the gif ad startup Tenor to roll out a series of gifs tied to its upcoming Super Bowl ad, which features a human-mocking fictional robot name Evelyn who likes to take selfies.

Tenor and Sprint have created unique gif ads tailored toward fans of both of this year’s Super Bowl teams. The campaign started on Wednesday, as people started spotting Sprint gifs when searching for terms such as “selfie,” “football,” “Hungry” and “Smile” when they use Tenor’s gif keyboard – which is integrated on Facebook, What’s App, Twitter and iMessage.

Go Philadelphia

Go New England

That's phase one. The plan is to ramp up the gif ad effort during the game, as people are expected to share lots of gifs with friends while watching.

To be clear, these Sprint gifs aren't targeted to show up when people search for "Sprint" or "Super Bowl ads." That's not really how gifs work, Tenor's head of US sales Mike Saperstein said. Unlike traditional information-driven web searches, people use gifs to express how they're feeling.

So Tenor and Sprint will show people gifs as they are looking to capture moments from the game or express specific emotions by searching for gifs that communicate phrases such as "touchdown," "lol," or "amazing."

"Now, when someone is talking to their buddy during the Super Bowl, a brand can be a part of that conversation," Saperstein told Business Insider.

Tenor claims it has over 300 million monthly active users across the globe, and processes over 10 billion monthly searches. Plus, it has examined what kind of gif searches people conducted during last year's Super Bowl and during football games in general.

So it's got pretty good viewpoint into gif usage and what's trending.

And since kicking off its advertising business last year, Tenor has already run campaigns for advertisers such as Nissan, Wendy's, AT&T and Dunkin Donuts. Advertisers only pay Tenor when people actually share their gifs.

The Sprint campaign marks perhaps the company's biggest opportunity to tie gif ads to a massive live event.

"This weekend is basically one of the most popular culture events of the year," he said. "It's the first time we're really tying a brand to it this way, so it's significant."

Besides Sprint, Tenor is planning to create gifs tied to every single ad running during this year's game (it doesn't have paid deals with other Super Bowl advertisers), as well as gifs pulled from game action during the broadcast.

"This all ties back to emotion, and brands really being part of those everyday conversations," Saperstein said. "And we've never met an advertiser who wouldn't love free promotion."