Instagram introduces video ads

"Big Hero Six" video ad.
"Big Hero Six" video ad.

Check out the first releases on the photo-sharing platform

Instagram has launched its first video ads on the site, with Disney, Banana Republic, Activision, Lancome and the CW Network the first brands to take up the new 15 second ad format.

The videos appear in an Instagram feed just like the sponsored image posts that have appeared on the free media-sharing platform for nearly a year.

While brands have taken to Instagram in droves for the visually creative opportunities it offers, Banana Republic, Activision, Lancome and the CW Network are the first tranche of brands to roll out autoplay ads specifically tailored to the platform.

For Facebook, the introduction of Instagram video ads is another step in its efforts to monetize the 200-million-user service since buying it in 2012. Facebook recently launched video ads on its namesake product, which helped its ad revenues soar in Q3.

Here are four of the first Instagram video ads:

Banana Republic

The clothing and apparel company took a classic approach with their ad. Its complete silence lends the piece a bit of substance over style as the designer sets about doing its job. Of course, the designer’s job is to match style with substance, so it’s an interesting way to encapsulate the brand’s identity very quickly.


It only took Disney eight seconds to get its point across in this video ad for "Big Hero 6." That’s just enough time for someone to learn what film it’s advertising, get a sense of its tone and learn that the CGI stars like to take selfies just like everyone else.


The network chose to play up its new DC Comics property The Flash with their first Instagram video ad. The video merges the perspective of handheld video with the tried-and-true technique of having a faster-than-a-speeding-bullet superhero zoom across the screen in a blur of color. It takes something classic and makes it contemporary.


This "Call of Duty" trailer really blurs the line between the virtual and the real. Before you can decide whether or not your guide is a real person or CGI, you realize it doesn’t matter. It only takes Activision a few seconds to show Instragrammers its game feels incredibly realistic.

Subscribe today for just $116 a year

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free