5 Instagram Ad Examples to Check Out

May 20, 2023

Instagram ads offer businesses a different arena for digital marketing. This is because this social media giant banks on visuals — brands and marketers must tap into their creative juices. 

Prospective customers expect high-quality and aesthetically pleasing content and will scroll away from anything less. 

That said, Instagram user demands can take a lot of work to keep up with. 

And things can even be more complicated when you're stuck figuring out which ads to run. With an audience of over 1 billion active users, you must ensure your ad strategies deliver and conquer!

So, how can you ensure your ads are successful? Let’s look at some great ideas in this article!

What Are Instagram Ads?

Instagram ads are sponsored posts that brands can use to widen their reach on the Instagram app. Brands and individuals can pay to boost their posts, and targeted users can see the ads as they scroll through the app.

Instagram ads can take many forms, such as Stories ads, carousel ads, and video ads. The platform also allows you to track your ad’s performance, helping you make well-informed decisions regarding your ad campaigns.

Why Is Instagram The Best Way To Advertise?

Instagram is a one-stop-shop advertising platform. It offers analytics and eCommerce options, ensuring top-of-the-line support to brands and business owners. 

With that, many use the platform to engage with audiences, reach prospective customers, raise brand awareness, and boost sales. 

Here, you no longer have to spend extra time looking for audiences. They already exist within the app; the only challenge is ensuring they find you. 

Instagram Ads: How Effective Can They Be?

According to a study by Forrester, Instagram allows you to enjoy a whopping 4.21% engagement rate

Top brands can garner 58 times more engagement per follower than counterparts like Facebook and Twitter. 

This is likely due to the platform's nature, which is visual. Twitter and Facebook may prompt users to read, watch, or engage for more time than they wish to part with. 

With dwindling attention spans, long captions with no visuals no longer cut it. With Instagram, they don't have to do much!

Key Elements of Successful Instagram Ads

There’s no clear-cut rule to making Instagram ads, but some of the most successful examples have key aspects that help them stand out from the competition. Here are some elements you can incorporate into your ads:

High-Quality Visual Content

Instagram focuses heavily on visual content, and if you don’t publish visually stunning ads, your audience won’t be interested. It’s crucial to use eye-catching and high-quality images and videos in your ads to capture people’s attention.


Moving content like GIFs and videos is more engaging than static images. So, it’s best to animate your ad copy to make it more dynamic and eye-catching.

The Right Audience

It's vital to focus on the right audience for your brand to maximize your ad's effectiveness. By utilizing Instagram's targeting features, advertisers can selectively reach a particular audience by factoring in their behaviors, interests, demographics, and other aspects. 

A Compelling Message

It's crucial to craft a clear and concise message that captures the viewer's interest and effectively conveys what you want to say. That way, it compels your audience to view and interact with your page.

Best Instagram Ad Examples

Not to worry—we hear you, so we've created this list of Instagram ad examples and case studies explaining how and why these ads work. 

Let's run through each of these Instagram ad examples and discover what works best for you:

#1: Photo Ads

To fully embrace the Instagram stands, you can begin introducing your brand with Instagram photo ads. These pertain to compelling visual content containing your message in a single image, which makes your Instagram feed stand out. 

You produce these ads through high-quality photography, but others also rely on illustration. You can also add text over images, but only with limitations. 

Photo ads are best for promoting specific products, teasers, or social proof of your brand as filler content. 

Case Study: Levi's

This ad is a teaser for an upcoming collaboration created to create a sense of hunger and wonder among its audiences. In this campaign, Levi's makes use of a professionally photographed image. 

It also features a pair of jeans in a color you don't usually see. It's green with graffiti, making it eye-catching. They made it even more interesting by adding some overlays, including their logo and what seems to be Barbie Ferreira's sketch.  

#2: Stories Ads

Recent studies show that over 500 million users watch and use Instagram stories. Content posted as Stories only appear for 24 hours, making it a perfect way to incite fear of missing out (FOMO) among audiences. 

You can create ads by using videos or images to advertise your brand, customized according to what's new, trending, and preferred by users. These will usually appear organically, ensuring that you reach a broader audience. 

Case Study: Starbucks

Given its success, Starbucks doesn't need to invest much in ads. But their target audiences love to capture and share coffee moments, making innovation an integral part of their campaigns. 

The Story below is an excellent Instagram ad example, as Starbucks used an image of a new coffee recipe, complete with text highlighting its features. 

It also includes a sticker, which users can easily tap to order the very same drink. 

#3: Video Ads

If you want to reach your target audience better, you may want to use Instagram video ads. 

Video ads are essentially the same as Photo Ads, only that the content uploaded is in video format. But they're considered more interactive, as they provide audiences with a closer look at products and services. 

Shorter videos are more effective, as they don't take up too much time from users. This type of ad also works well for Stories, captivating audiences to interact with your page more. 

Case Study: Febreze 

For their new product launch, Febreze chose videos for campaign execution. In the video, "Febreze Light Air" appears to be floating. 

Not only does it look aesthetically pleasing, but it also perfectly illustrates the ad's message: No heavy perfumes. This could signal that it's lighter on the senses, making it the perfect product to fight unwanted odors.

#4: Carousel Ads

A carousel ad is similar to Image and Video Ads, but these ad campaigns can do even more. 

The only difference is that each post contains multiple ads, and the users can swipe through each. 

These can be uploaded on the brand's feed and Instagram Stories.

These ads work best for brands who want to showcase a collection of products and draw attention to specific products and services. 

They can also tell a narrative in parts, as a single post can accommodate up to 10 images and videos. 

Case Study: McDonald's

McDonald's is another household brand that no longer needs advertisements; its campaigns always keep it on top of its game. 

In a fun and creative way, they've mastered the art of coming up with almost avant-garde imagery and messages. 

In the case below, McDonald's chose to create pieces of art that depict specific characteristics that people can resonate with—paired with the all-time favorite pair, Big Mac, with a side of golden fries. 

#5: Shopping Ads

Over 130 million users tap on Instagram shopping posts each month. Since Instagram's adoption of eCommerce, users now associate the platform with shopping. 

And once they see their favorite brands, they'd want to be able to purchase them. Immediately. Without the hassles of searching for the brand. They just want to tap and shop.

Case Study: H&M

While the Shopping ads on feeds vary depending on the user, most fashion-forward users get ads like the H&M campaign below. It's a timely campaign, just in time to announce a sale.

Apart from their logo, they showcased a model wearing their latest collection. Beneath it, a clear call to action—" Shop Now" in a red banner, linking straight to their website. 

Final Word: Stunning Instagram Ads for Your Feed

We can argue that Instagram is an excellent advertising platform from the ads discussed alone. You can use it to increase brand awareness, boost revenue, up engagement, and of course, reach success. 

Each brand's case studies above exude creativity and cleverness, executed into well-crafted campaigns. They capture the audience's interest, making them want to learn more about the product. 

As you go back to the drawing board to create your own, make sure that your ads have these key elements:

  • Visually appealing
  • Clear valuable product proposition 
  • Catchy captions

Keep this guide and mind; you can conquer Instagram this 2023 and beyond!

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