New ad formats have inundated Instagram, showing up in feeds, Stories and, most recently, the app’s Explore section. This wave is not losing momentum: Facebook is pushing Instagram to double the amount of its ads. With the increasing amount of ads, brands must differentiate their content to appeal to consumers. The Social Platforms & Influencers 2019 report found three best-in-class examples:
Though most ads merely showcase products, Clinique takes matters a step further by integrating a casino-style game that offers users the chance to potentially receive a gift or discount. By adding an element of interaction, the beauty brand captures the consumer’s attention, while leading them to their site. The beauty brand maximizes its exposure by linking to the game in advertisements—both in feed and in Stories.
Nike, on the other hand, offers location-specific ads while also showing off its video know-how. For its Nike “NYC By You” Shoe collection, the activewear brand kept its video ad short, mobile-optimized and subtitled, while also linking to commerce. The video featured an introduction to one of its collaborators—a smart move, given that videos with real-life footage perform better on Instagram than standard product shots.
Finally, Saks Fifth Avenue collaborated with Vogue Magazine using actress Natasha Lyonne as a spokesperson. Much like how Kate Spade leveraged Refinery29’s younger, millennial audience, Saks benefits from Vogue’s luxury-focused followers. By having Vogue’s Instagram (25 million followers) advertise Saks’ (1.5 million), the department store brand can expand its reach without having to increase its own follower count. While brand partnerships are nothing new, this use of social advertising marks a new form in which they can be executed.