Everyone's favorite photo and video sharing platform, Instagram, just announced that they've surpassed 1 million active advertisers. That's a big accomplishment, especially given that at this time last year the platform had only roughly 200 thousand active advertisers. Instagram also noted that 8 million businesses globally are using the platform. In celebration of Instagram's growing business and advertiser base, we're choosing 8 Instagram ads we love and talking about what makes them great.
1 - Airbnb
No big surprise that Airbnb would be among the first companies Instagram chose to partner with on Instagram Stories ads, which have recently rolled out globally to all Instagram business accounts. Airbnb is ahead of the curve when it comes to digital marketing and they used Instagram Stories ads to promote the new "experiences" feature of their business.
What makes it great: It's always exciting to see an innovative company experimenting with a new ad format. Airbnb's stories ads feature a handful of short clips. The clips form a collage that represents the variety of types of experiences users can have through the use of Airbnb. The music matches the inspirational/aspirational tone of the video and the whole thing somehow manages to convey "fun" without ever saying the word.
2 - MeUndies
MeUndies is that underwear company whose ads are everywhere these days, including on Instagram, of course. The company claims to make "the world's most comfortable underwear" and has a decidedly quirky aesthetic and tone.
What makes it great: This particular MeUndies ad makes use of the carousel functionality (now available to all Instagram users, but previously available only as a feature of advertising) to allow users to scroll through five different products. This gives users the ability to explore the products in more depth without having to leave the platform. Imagery is clean and, as this was part of a holiday promotion, clearly demonstrates how giftable the products are.
3 - Dove
Dove has made a splash with their ad campaigns before and they've become known for marketing that questions assumptions about beauty. This little ad is a bit less serious, but it still promotes a new product in an engaging way. The short video heroes a new body wash by showing the image filling with up with shower foam.
What makes it great: This video ad is short but sweet. It's product-centric, which can easily wear out its welcome on a lifestyle platform like Instagram, but the extra flourish added by the visuals makes this more engaging than a typical product focus would be. The caption and the visuals work perfectly together to convey the message of the campaign.
4 - Perrier
Perrier ran a series of Instagram ads during the dog days of summer, focusing on the refreshing nature of the drink. The ad is actually a short video that shows the glass filling up with a rainbow of colors being poured from the bottle.
What makes it great: The ad has a strong topical element (the heat) which gives it an added boost of appeal for users. This topical element makes the ad feel more relevant than it might otherwise. The visuals are engaging and enticing, making users want to linger on the ad, rather than simply scrolling on by.
5 - Dawn
When you think of Dawn, you probably think of dish soap. But you might also think of adorable marine animals being cleaned off using Dawn soap in the aftermath of an oil spill. That's because for a long time now Dawn has periodically run television ads showing how volunteers use the soap for just that purpose. Now the company has adapted that concept for a short Instagram video ad featuring a very cute duck.
What makes it great: The ad definitely works on an emotional level, the same way the old television spots did. The clip is short, and charming, and focuses on how Dawn gives back. Increasingly, this kind of social purpose is something consumers look for in the brands they support. The Dawn branding is clear and apparent without being over the top.
6 - Cobble Hill Soap
Cobble Hill Soap proves that you don't have to be in the Fortune 500 to design and run beautiful Instagram ads. The etsy-based company has a strong visual aesthetic on Instagram, and their ads are no exception to that rule.
What makes it great: This is a simple ad that perfectly aligns both with the branding of the company and with the overall aesthetic of Instagram itself. Visuals are minimalist in a way that mirrors the packaging of the product and the bed of beans gives us the idea that this product is probably made with the help of natural ingredients, like coffee.
7 - Apple
Apple shows off new bands for its Apple Watch in this short Instagram video ad. Coming from Apple, is it any surprise that the video is beautiful and captivating?
What makes it great: The visuals in this short video are arresting -- the camera zooms in on the watches and bands as they move through the water. Not only does the ad serve to promote the new watch bands, the underwater element suggests that the watches can be submerged in water -- and according to the company, the watches are water-resistant up to 50 meters.
8 - The New Yorker
The New Yorker is a well-known and well-respected weekly magazine, but even they have to invest ad dollars in attracting new subscribers.
What makes it great: Though this example is a bit text heavier than the ones we usually see on Instagram, this little ad from The New Yorker does a great job of communicating an offer that will entice users. It uses clear, imperative language ("subscribe and get"). The ad creative shows what's included in the offer and communicates The New Yorker's iconic style and brand aesthetic. If you're not advertising on Instagram yet, or if you're worried that the platform's ad options are too limited, hopefully this article will help convince you otherwise. There's so much inspiration out there to help generate ideas on how you can appeal to your audiences in the fun, engaging ways users have come to expect from Instagram.