Our clients offer deals, promos and renewal emails. Our goal is to provide them responsive email templates that are simple and easy for the client to update and maintain; with little to no need of coding. Thus, I want to do some A/B testing with some countdown clocks for some approaching campaigns. I prefer to use an animated gif; it's easiest and requires very little that could break. Literally, drop an image in there!

My question:
What is a creative alternative to an animated clock for mso? I know only 1 frame will display, and the animated gif will not animate. Is an image swap with a conditional statement the best alternative? That can prove to be a little wonky at times, depending on who is updating it. I have been unable to find alternative examples. A static clock seems less likely to appear urgent, enless it's accompanied by a strong headline CTA and minimal time left on the clock.

Thank you for your suggestions.
Rick