PMG Digital Made for Humans

Instagram Video Ads: Hit Or Miss?

3 MINUTE READ | November 11, 2014

Instagram Video Ads: Hit Or Miss?

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PMG is a global independent digital company that seeks to inspire people and brands that anything is possible. Driven by shared success, PMG uses business strategy and transformation, creative, media, and insights, along with our proprietary marketing intelligence platform Alli, to deliver Digital Made for Humans™. With offices in New York, London, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, Atlanta, and Cleveland, our team is made up of over 900+ employees globally, and our work for brands like Apple, Nike, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Gap Inc., Kohler, Momentive, Sephora, and Shake Shack has received top industry recognitions including Cannes Lions and Adweek Media Plan of the Year.

For all of you Instagram lovers out there, most of you, have probably already been hit with one of Instagram’s new video ads. On October 30th, the popular mobile social platform launched new auto-played video ads with 5 major brands. The brands that signed up to participate in the 15 second video rollout were, Disney, Activision, Lancome, Banana Republic, and the CW Network.

Instagram went through 6 months of testing and were extremely cautious about how the platform serves all of its ads, says CEO Kevin Systrom. Each ad goes through a vigorous review process before it runs, in order to make sure they do not seem too much like advertising.

According to Ad Week, in their interview with Brian Chang, assistant VP of Media at Lancome, deciding to participate in the launch of Instagram video ads, was not even in question.

“I wasn’t a hard decision for us. We as a brand, wanted to take advantage of being first to market.”

The new sponsored video ads will run a maximum of 15 seconds and will play automatically while visible in an Instagram user’s news feed. The videos will be muted unless a user taps the volume control.

Back in August, VB News announced that Facebook’s Instagram division released Hyperlapse, a new video sharing app for recording cinematic time-lapses. Now, what does this mean for video ads? The standalone app features a simplistic interface, with only one setting for speed.

Hyperlapse also allows you to create videos and share them directly to Facebook and Instagram pages. Banana Republic used this particular app to create their video ad, during the big launch.

McDonalds has been a big player in the Instagram sponsored ad arena, but mostly using static sponsored ads. One of their numerous ads, promoted the Bacon Clubhouse burger. According to Ad Week, most of the feedback was negative, filled with angered comments from many Instagram users. Needless to say, McDonalds did not receive the kind of response from the tech savvy generation they expected.

After that failed first attempt, the mega fast food chain gave sponsored ads a second go around, this time, featuring different types of creative. The ads failed to impress, yet again. Many Instagram users felt that McDonalds was not relevant to them, nor their interests. Instead of blasting out unrelated ads, McDonalds may need to reevaluate their targeting strategy.

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It seems like Instgram users are not ready for sponsored ads, nevertheless, sponsored video ads. Until brands figure out a way to make their ads more specific to their target audiences, they will fail without a doubt. Only time will tell when determining whether Instagram’s sponsored video ads are a hit or a miss.

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