Banana Republic, The C.W Television Network and cosmetics business Lancôme will also run videos in the coming weeks. The brands will appear in 15-second autoplay spots that appear within peoples’ Instagram feeds, similar to how the likes of Burberry, Levi’s and Ben and Jerry’s tested the feature earlier this year.
Disney is promoting its upcoming Big Hero 6 animated film, according to Ad Week, with a video of the characters posing as if they have taken selfies. Meanwhile, Activision is said to be running an ad for next week’s Call of Duty Advanced Warfare release, while Banana Republic’s effort reportedly shows a time-lapsed video of a model being sketched.
The videos are running in the US off the back of the earlier trials but the social network assured advertisers at Ad Week earlier this month that the ad format would come to the UK eventually.
The simplistic nature of the videos, which resemble TV ads, reflect Instagram’s tentative approach to monetising its 200 million users for fear of pushing them away. The company introduced photo ads last year and has said it will stick to the slow and steady approach to crafting an advertising proposition until it hits 1 billion users.
Instagram has repeatedly stressed the need to keep the standard high for ads and is likely to extend the mantra to those planning to push ads to its users. It launched a marketing playbook for brands earlier this year to establish a standard that chimes with the user-generated focus that has helped the platform prove popular with younger audiences.
The move comes as Instagram’s rivals Tumblr and Snapchat attempt to secure more video ad spend. While more expensive to produce than images, short-form branded videos are seen as a reflection of how people are increasingly sharing experiences on mobile, representing the next step on from text and photos.
Snapchat began running serving videos to users earlier this month to exploit the shift, while Tumblr is set to launch the first batch of video ads into users’ feeds next month.
Instagram owner Facebook told analysts on a conference call earlier this week that video was a core part of its growth plan and would receive significant investment moving forward.
The social network hopes video will secure its dominance of the mobile market and plans to coordinate campaigns with Instagram through video and other products following successful tests. Mercedes Benz launched the GLA SUV on both communities and saw a 54% increase in visits to its site.