Instagram Advertising

Instagram Advertising: Making it Picture Perfect!

Now that Instagram has made its API (application programming interface) available to marketers, you’ll notice more sponsored content popping up in your feed. With Instagram’s active user base number now around 300 million, surpassing Twitter and LinkedIn, brands and marketers are eager to access their audience members through the powerful platform.

 

Advertising on Instagram empowers brands, both small and large, to create highly engaging content like never before. It hasn’t even been a month since Instagram’s API was made available and we’ve seen plenty of ads appear on our feeds. So let’s take a look at how brands have been accessing the shiny, new medium.

NBC’s Heroes

 

Heroes Reborn

The much-anticipated NBC revival of Heroes, now called Heroes Reborn, features a bit of plot, character, supernatural aesthetics, and suspenseful copy in their content. This ad was a video that gently shifted the mystical clouds ever-so-slightly in the background for an added effect! It is a great combination of creativity and storytelling. Our grade: A

 

Blue Diamond Almonds

 

Blue Diamond Almonds

Things are heating up in this ad! Blue Diamond Almonds partnered with Instagram food-lebrity @Julieskitchen to showcase their new Bold Sriracha flavor. A great move teaming up with someone already killing it with visuals on Instagram, Blue Diamond Almonds knew exactly how to advertise without being blatant about it. Their click-through button also leads to an in-app landing page for the flavor. Our grade: A+

 

Bruce the Shiba Inu

 

Petstagram

Apparently Instagram has gone to the dogs! Even a dog from San Francisco can post adds to your feed promoting their cuddly content. Yes, pets are big on Instagram, but does Bruce have what it takes to be Insta-famous? This simple ad isn’t saying much but people may be interested in following a cute pup around San Francisco. Not sure if Instagram has the right idea letting just anyone place ads. That could open the floodgates. Our grade: C

 

 

Bernie Sanders

 

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders is putting the social in socialism! The Democratic candidate for President of the United States is aiming his sights on the millennial vote. By looking at the chosen visual, he might need help with photography. The image isn’t clear. The audience sees his arm blocking his face, multiple bits of the U.S. flag, and two podiums. With how dark the photo is, this ad could easily be skipped over. Although the creative isn’t on par, the “Sign Up” click through takes interested users to receive his newsletter. That’s a great way to keep people involved. Our grade: C

 

 

Toyota

 

Toyota

Yikes, talk about not blending in. This ad by Toyota is all sales! Instagram was birthed as a lifestyle app. It’s about showcasing photos that represent you and your perspective. Toyota might not have achieved syncopation with the purpose of the app, but hey, their copy is direct and to the point. We’d recommend a video to highlight the Prius quality of life or something more natural. Our grade: D

 

 

World Surf League

 

World Surf League

The WSL promoted their live streaming of the Billabong Pro Tahiti Finals on Instagram. Their use of a beautiful wave and a couple surfers framing the shot on the lower right really gives this photo balance. It keeps the eyes toward the center of the photo, that awesome barrel! Simple and pleasing to the eye, the message is clear like the waters of Tahiti. A “Watch More” call-to-action brings viewers directly to the live stream event. But say you don’t check your Instagram all day, wouldn’t you miss out on this stream? The strategy here might be risky. Our grade: B+

 

The Visit

 

The Visit

 

Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller “The Visit” might look like every other selfie on Instagram. This one however, definitely captures the creepiness of the film. The selfie tactic is a great visual connection to Instagram’s audience. A clever caption leave users feeling intrigued to check out what’s happening at granny’s house. Our grade: A

 

We can see, to be successful using Instagram ads, brands must blend in. Avoid obvious sales messages. Respect the app and its millions of users by using visuals appropriately. This will be a big revenue generator for the company. Keep an eye on your feeds and let us know if you find any more A+ examples!

 

 

 

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Raffi Apelian
Raffi Apelian
rapelian@jstokes.com

Studied Advertising at San Jose State University. He is currently a Social Media Manager and Copywriter at JStokes Agency.

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