If you’re looking to be inspired by some Instagram video ad examples, you’ve come to the right place.
Short videos, long videos, funny, sexy, and clever—We have plenty to show you, as well as some analysis on what makes these ad examples successful.
In case you haven’t been spending much time on social media, you should know that Instagram is kind of a big deal. The social network attracts more than a billion (with a “B”) users every month, half of which use the service every day.
We’re going to get you to the video ad examples as quickly as possible, but first, we’d like to set the context for why Instagram is a fantastic tool for video advertisers.
Why Instagram video ads?
There are two main reasons you might be interested in running video ads on Instagram:
- It’s not Facebook
- But it kind of is Facebook…
Let us explain.
Although Instagram is owned by Facebook, it is a separate entity with different features that attracts a different crowd. Consider the following statistics from Hootsuite:
- 71% of Instagram users around the globe are under the age of 35
- 72% of U.S. teens use Instagram
- 34% of Instagram users are millennials
Clearly, if you’re looking to target a younger market, you need to be on Instagram. It’s also a great platform for industries like food and fashion, which make up a big part of the content that users consume organically on Instagram. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t consider Facebook and YouTube to round out your video advertising efforts, but they definitely shouldn’t come instead of Instagram.
Instagram also has a different feature set than Facebook, which opens up more and advertising opportunities. Instagram Stories have exploded in popularity, with 500 people using the feature every day! Instagram Stories provide users with innovative ways to showcase their content in a way that is optimized for mobile users. We’re not going to cover this in-depth, but you can learn how to use Instagram Story ads in our related post, Instagram Stories: The Complete Guide.
So Instagram isn’t Facebook, check. Then why did we say it “kind of” is? Because you can plan, build, and optimize your ad campaigns using the Facebook Ads Manager, which contains lots of powerful tools. For instance:
Need to A/B test different copy with your video ads? Easily set up within the Ads Manager.
Want to see if a 6-second video ad gets more clicks than a 30-second version? Done.
And most importantly, those tools work.
Those aren’t the only reasons we love Instagram. Here are some more stats from Hootsuite:
- Instagram users are 70% more likely to buy via mobile than non-users
- 60% of users discover products on Instagram
- 75% of users take action (like visiting a website) after looking at a brand’s post.
Advertising on Instagram is the best of both worlds—Access to new audiences and innovative ad units with the power of a time-tested programmatic ad network.
Now, let’s look at some of the top Instagram ads.
Instagram video ads examples
Why it works
Swiggy is the largest food delivery service in India. The company saw tremendous success using video advertising with Instagram Stories, and it’s not hard to see why the videos they created specifically for that placement created a 30% lower cost per app install.
The videos start out by rolling some drool-worthy food footage in high definition, which is enough to catch anyone’s attention, especially if it’s close to lunchtime. They added captions to tout some of the app’s features, making the ads more accessible to people watching without sound. After the food footage, they transitioned beautifully to an illustration of a mobile device showcasing a map of a city while highlighting more app features. This is important because it shifts the topic from food to smartphone, which dovetails perfectly with their call to action—Download this app.
Seriously, what’s a better pair than food and Instagram? 😉
Why it works
Everlane, a clothing retail company, took the standard advertising model and flipped it on its head. Most companies try to sell their products with advertising, but Everlane chose to sell the company itself.
Through clever use of Instagram Stories, Everlane launched the Transparency Tuesdays video campaign, which allows fans and customers to send in questions and have them answered by the brand. By being transparent about their processes and business, Everlane establishes trust with consumers who want to buy from brands that are aligned with their own values.
It’s smart, innovative, transparent, and we love it!
Why it works
When social media exploded with popularity years ago, so did another trend in marketing—Using lesser-known national holidays to promote a brand. While many brands choose to promote holidays that directly align with their brand, such as “National Pancake Day” for IHOP, Burger King went a different route.
Burger King issued a video on Instagram celebrating American Sign Language (ASL) Day by using their beloved mascot to sign a message (with captions) to their audience. Burger King was seeking to crowdsource ASL speakers to come up with a sign for the Whopper. The choice of Instagram as the ad placement was a subtle nod to the fact that many consumers use the platform without sound.
Corporate social responsibility? Check.
Clever use of ad placement? Check.
Well done, Burger King.
Why it works
Quick—What’s a product that’s exciting, visually appealing, and practically sells itself? Did you say “Anti-slip mat?” No?
The product featured here is rather boring in itself, and a video showcasing its features would probably be, somehow, even more boring. So Ikea went the other way.
If you have ever watched America’s Funniest Videos, you know that people falling down is a crowd-pleaser. At this point in the video, 3 seconds in, Ikea has grabbed your attention. Then, with a sneaky homage to Groundhog Day, the scene repeats itself, except this time it showcases the utility of the product.
Ikea even threw in a great line in the ad copy “What if an anti-slip mat turned a dining room into a playroom?” that speaks to the benefit of the product, not the features.
Starwood Hotels Waikiki
Why it works
Vacationing in Waikiki is not exactly a hard sell. Starwood knows this, which is why their ad features a guest casually enjoying the calm, Hawaiian waters while the hotel sits in the backdrop. Gentle, Hawaiian music plays in the background and the ad ends with a faraway shot of the hotel property.
Simple, but effective.
(Click on the image to see the video)
Why it works
First, it starts out with an interesting videography trick: You’re not expecting the protein bar to open like the half door from Wizard of Oz, and you’re definitely not expecting Ice T to be the one opening it.
Lastly, the entire message, including the manner in which it was delivered, is completely on-brand. There just isn’t a need to overcomplicate things with a ton of words. You see the ingredients, you know they’re healthy; what more do you need to know?
Elegant in its simplicity, effective in its conversion rate.
Apple iPhone X
Why it works
Sleek, elegant, and instantly recognizable. Who doesn’t know and love the iPhone (except Android users of course)? This short video has few words, save for a large “X” and “November 3.” The video shows the iPhone X’s look, feel, and features in a modern, hi-tech swirl of color and precision.
Examples made with Promo.com
Hey, there’s no way we could go the whole article and not point out some of our own Instagram video ads examples!
This video is trendy, sexy, and it jumps off the screen with good energy. It resembles content that you might see from an influencer, so it fits the Instagram platform well. It’s only 15 seconds long, which means it will likely have a lower cost-per-view than a longer video ad.
Winter doesn’t last forever, as this video ad demonstrates with a sneaky ‘wipe’ technique that transforms the snowy landscape into a green one. The captions are subtle and not salesy, which would be a great fit for a brand with an understated style.
New Years menu
Food and restaurant videos have a certain script that works well—Close-up shots of the mouth-watering food, quick cuts to other dishes, and a fast pace to keep things moving. Add a compelling call-to-action at the end and you’ve got yourself a solid promotional video for your special menu. No need to overcomplicate things!
Are you looking to make content just like the best Instagram video ads you see above? With Promo, creating videos is super easy, affordable and really simple. We provide everything, from the footage (more than 15 million video clips!) to messaging, music, and a simple-to-use editor. We even have templates that are specifically made for Instagram!
Instagram video ads best practices
If you’ve been following our content, you know that we have provided a lot of general best practices for video creation such as:
- Provide the hook in the first 3 seconds
- Use captions
- Use a CTA in the middle and the end
Today, we’ll provide a few Instagram-specific best practices to add to those.
Use square videos
While Instagram does give you the option to upload landscape videos, we still recommend using a square aspect ratio. Square videos simply occupy more space in the feed, giving you more leverage to zoom into your product or increase the size of your captions. There just isn’t a lot of reasons why you wouldn’t want to use a square video.
Use vertical video
Whoa! Seems like quite the contradiction to the above section, but there’s a good reason, and that’s the Instagram Stories ad placement.
When you create an ad campaign with the Facebook Ads Manager, you have the option to turn certain placements, such as Instagram Stories, on or off. The default setting for Facebook ads is to place your ad everywhere, by the way.
We highly recommend the Stories ad placement, but we also recommend customizing your video for that format. If you don’t, Instagram will fill in the sections at the top and bottom of your video with color and also add captions created from your ad copy. While this isn’t the worst thing, sometimes the auto ad creation for the Stories placement can look at little funky.
Choose the right thumbnail image
Unlike Facebook and YouTube, where you can create your own custom image thumbnail and upload it, Instagram placements ask you to choose a thumbnail from a still image from the video. The Facebook Ads Manager will give you several selections to choose from, so do not forget to review your options and choose the best one before launching your ads.
So what do you think—Did you see any examples of Instagram ads examples you can use? Which style do you think would work best for your target audience?
Of course, if you want to get started making video ads, we have the perfect tool for you. Promo.com is the easiest way to create beautiful marketing videos. We offer collections of ready-made, customizable videos for every business type and holiday.