But the landscape of Instagram is changing quickly. Just in the last year, the platform has launched or will soon launch Explore ads, IGTV ads, and ads on their short-form video platform Reels. To keep up, some Instagram ads examples are useful.
What are the best colors, imagery, copy, and placement strategies? The best way to start thinking about your own Instagram campaign is to see what’s worked for other companies.
That’s why we continue to update our archive of 53 Instagram ads examples, broken down by the available ad type and placement: in-feed ads, video ads, carousel ads, Explore ads, Collection ads, shopping ads, and Stories ads.
Traditional Instagram Ads Examples
In-feed ads are the Instagram ads that show up in the main news feed as you scroll. While the amount of video available on both Facebook and Instagram increases, many in-feed ads still feature a single image with or without text.
Color pallet, smart copy, and a strong call to action (CTA) all play a role in how effective an in-feed ad will be. Here are a group of brands that do some or all of it well.
JustFab chose to promote a giveaway to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. People who want to enter have to follow JustFab’s page, like the post, and tag a friend. This is a great strategy because ads with high engagement get preferential treatment from Instagram. Giveaways are a cheap way to get that engagement.
With this ad, Staples proves that you don’t need an elaborate image or clever text to get your message out. If you have one key selling point, in this case, free delivery, make it the star of the show. Any additional design features in this ad are a distraction to that message.
Lemon & Line
When you first see this ad from Lemon & Line, you might wonder if they sell women’s clothing. Actually, it’s the rope bracelets that are promoted. Read the copy, and you’ll see that downplaying the product in the image makes perfect sense. The bracelets are meant to be a subtle accessory that “whispers, never screams.” This is a well-played example of matching images with brand ethos.
Contrasting colors are great for catching attention. But sometimes, you want to portray a more serene, harmonious vibe. I.D. Sarrieri uses analogous colors (blue and green) in this Instagram ad for facemasks, and it makes a lot of sense. Facemasks are tied to safety and security, so a jarring color palate wouldn’t match. There’s no one right answer for creating a palate for an ad; just make sure it matches the intended mood.
L’Occitane en Provence
In this ad, L’Occtaine used blue-purple packaging against a bright yellow background. Blue and yellow are complementary colors on the color wheel, so one against the other stands out. Use contrasting colors in your own ads to quickly catch viewers’ attention.
This Lebert Fitness ad is both timely and helpful. At a time when home gyms are on the rise, Lebert offers a free resource to help people build their own home gym.
Walmart also uses strong complementary colors in this ad. But there’s something a little more subtle going on as well. See the #gethumming hashtag in the ad’s copy? The brand in this ad created that hashtag and used it to help make their product and posts sharable and discoverable on Instagram. The lesson here is to remember to add relevant hashtags to all of your ads.
Still images lack the benefit of motion. They can, however, be great at inferring a potential action. This Instagram ad from Garmin does just that. If you’re an exercise enthusiast, you can feel that kettlebell and imagine the next few dynamic seconds when it swings into action.
Instagram Video Ads Examples
The best video ads are concise, show the brand upfront, and can work even without sound. These brands have mastered the art of video in their ads.
If you learn about Instagram video ads from only one company, Beardbrand is a good choice. They consistently publish new videos that educate and entertain their audience while revealing products in an organic way. This ad shows how to use their utility balm and includes feedback from real customers.
This playful little video ad from PetSmart shows how to use a positive emotion to get attention. Pet owners understand the sheer joy of watching their pups excitedly play with a new toy. No matter what emotion your product stokes—relief, excitement, joy—video is a great medium to bring it out in your ads.
Videos don’t necessarily need motion. Blue Apron uses their video like a slide show, giving their customers an idea of the many delicious meals they can look forward to. It’s a quick way to show off several products in a short amount of time. They also include a promotion (six free meals) in a text overlay, so someone scrolling Instagram doesn’t miss it.
There are a few things to like about this ad from online bank Varo. First, there’s a quick transition on-screen, which attracts our attention. Then, a friendly face takes up most of the screen, so it feels like they’re talking directly to us. Finally, Varo doesn’t waste time getting to the point. They allude to the main feature of their card, no fee, in just six seconds.
Hopper helps travelers find incredible flight deals. The copy in this ad is what sells their service—a $29 flight is incredible. But what’s really brilliant is how Hopper manages to capture the thrill of travel with a common experience for all travelers: takeoff. The bonus here is that if you do happen to have sound on, you get a fully immersive experience of feeling like you’re on your way to an adventure.
Touch of Modern
It’s hard to pin down what Touch of Modern sells since their catalog is so diverse. But this ad does a great job of quickly exposing their range of ultra-cool, fun, and interesting products. Not to mention, a man with fire coming out of his wrist is bound to pause your Instagram scrolling.
Tasty and Captain Morgan
Video ads are a fantastic medium for tutorials, and recipes are a great example. With a quick video, you can teach viewers how to make a new dish while showing creative ways to use your product. That’s what Captain Morgan does here when they team up with Tasty. The ad gives Instagram viewers some new, valuable knowledge as an incentive to watch until the end.
Kriser’s Natural Pet
Featuring dogs is an automatic winning Instagram ad strategy because a cute doggo will stop even the most furious of scrollers in their tracks. This ad from Kriser’s Natural Pet is brilliant because it not only leverages the power of the pup, but it also adds a bit of humor to get its message across.
Instagram Carousel Ads Examples
A carousel ad is a slideshow of two or more images or videos people can scroll through in a single ad. Each slide of a carousel ad can have its own headline and link.
Look at how these brands use carousel ads to tell a narrative or feature multiple products that would otherwise clutter up a single image.
This Chewy ad is a great example of how to use a carousel to show the before and after. In one slide, you see some tasty dog snacks being prepared, and in the next, a cute pup enjoying the treats. This is a strategy any brand can employ to show their product and the effect their product has.
Budget Bytes shows us how to use a carousel ad to offer multiple examples. In this case, it’s ideas for what to do with leftover cilantro, avocado, and garlic that isn’t guacamole. Like a how-to video, this ad is great for engagement because it teaches something useful rather than just pushing for a hard sell.
Let’s say you have multiple versions of a similar product, and each one could attract a different audience. How do you show them all? HELLOTUNEBOX solves that dilemma with a carousel ad of videos that shows several of the songs their music boxes can create. A brand that offers multiple colorways or flavors of the same product can steal this strategy, too.
Carousels let you pack a lot of information into the real estate of a single Instagram ad. Matix Labs wanted to show off several happy and successful customers, so they put together a slideshow of video testimonials as the ultimate expression of social proof. While video works great there, brands could just as easily use still images with a quote in text.
Life is Good
Each slide of this ad from Life is Good features different text with a unique value message. One slide highlights new styles, another a discount, and the last a free shipping offer. So not only can a carousel ad help you show more visuals, but you can also use it to offer more distinct messaging.
National Geographic uses their carousel ad to add a layer of customer segmentation. The overall ad targets history buffs. Each slide then breaks down that audience to attract people who love ancient history, the Middle Ages, or modern history. Each slide has a link to subscribe, so it’s easy for viewers to take the next step.
Sometimes you have products to show and a deal you want to promote. Fossil accomplished both goals by leading off a carousel with an eye-catching deal, then showing products from a collection in subsequent slides. This looks like a great way to draw people in and get them thinking about how they’ll use their big discount.
Instagram Influencer Ads Examples
Influencer ads are promoted posts created by popular Instagram users that feature a brand. Influencer ads can be displayed in just about every location in the app (Stories, News Feed, Explore, etc.) and can include video or still images, as well as captions, shopping tags, and so on.
Influencers are an important part of the Instagram advertising ecosystem because they bring clout and audiences to a brand. The examples here show several ways a brand can incorporate an influencer in an Instagram ad.
In this case, Macy’s teamed up with Justine Skye to share the popular singer/actor/model’s favorite styles. Macy’s gains access to Skye’s fans and generates ad clicks as those followers look to see what the singer is recommending.
In this example, the influencer’s page features the brand Eat North Italia (instead of the brand page featuring the influencer). The result is a placement that looks more authentic than a straightforward product ad. The post also includes a carousel of additional images, making it easy to feature more products and a greater narrative.
Those Pop Socks
There are several great things happening in this influencer ad featuring Those Pop Socks. The bold-colored socks stand out against a muted background, and the discount may generate more interest in the product. The shoppable tags make it easy for the influencer’s followers to buy the product.
Instagram Remarketing Ads Examples
Remarketing, or retargeting, is the practice of displaying ads to people who have taken a predetermined action (like visiting your website or viewing another ad). Remarketing ads look exactly like other ads on Instagram and, in fact, could be the exact same ad just displayed again.
Here are some examples of how remarketing ads can work well for brands on Instagram.
In this adorable example of how remarketing can work, we see two ads from Casper promoting their range of dog beds. Say someone clicks to learn more on the first ad but doesn’t convert. The second ad displays in their feed to remind them, in the best way possible, that their pup is not yet sleeping their best life.
Usually, you want short and concise video ads, especially as our attention spans continue to dwindle. An exception to this is when you’re retargeting visitors who have previously engaged with your brand. In this case, someone may have clicked one of the engagement options (like, love, etc.) on a traditional ad from Aaptiv. The brand can then retarget that person with this in-depth video full of social proof and product explanation.
Instagram Explore Ads Examples
Explore ads are ads that appear as Instagram users scroll through the Explore space. These ads can be image- or video-based and look like in-feed ads. In fact, you can use the same creative from your in-feed ads for Explore ads.
Instagram Explore is the place for discovery on Instagram. It’s where people can go to see videos and images from accounts they don’t already follow. Here are some great examples of brands that have used Explore ads to find new followers and customers.
This ad from PupSocks displays in the Explore channel after clicking on and scrolling past a post about dogs. From the visuals to the copy, this ad does a great job of making the product and the process very clear. Clever ad copy is nice, but clarity is much more important.
One of the great things about the Explore space is that it’s divided into several interest-specific tags. That means a brand can market directly to the people who are actively looking for the types of products and ideas they sell. This ad from Heatherly Design is in the Decor tab in Explore, so it’s reaching people actively searching for design ideas.
Here’s another example of the perfect ad placed in the perfect spot. This ad from MENSUITSPAGE displays in the Style tab of the Explore space, and its aesthetic fits perfectly there. Not only that, but the angle of the image leads the eye to the important copy below. It’s almost like the model is an arrow pointing to the discount.
The Explore space is where people go to connect with new brands and accounts. Everly Made added a personal introduction from the brand’s founder. It feels like a natural way to say hello to people who are in the mood to make new connections.
Instagram Collection Ads Examples
Instagram Collection ads are in-feed or Stories ads that include a cover image or video and two or three additional, clickable product images. Collection ads help marketers showcase several products.
When someone clicks on a Collection ad, they are taken to an Instagram Instant Experience, which is a Storefront that brands build natively within Instagram. You think of Collection ads like signs and products in a storefront window and Instant Experience as the inside of the store.
See how Clocks and Colours uses a Collection ad to showcase several of their handmade silver accessories.
Clocks and Colours
Two things stand out about this ad. First, the black and white imagery is somehow subtle but striking at the same time. Second, it’s a brilliant use of the Collection format. The fast-paced, larger video attracts attention while the still images show off the featured products. This one-two punch is what a Collection ad is for.
Collection ads aren’t just for displaying multiple products. Gregory uses the additional images in their carousel ad to show off the features of the main product. That’s a good strategy if you have a technical product that can’t be explained in one photo.
Treatwell is a beauty salon booking app. They cleverly use a Collection ad for two purposes. The large video on top shows off their many services. The clickable images on the bottom show customer photos of nearby salon locations that users can book directly from the ad.
Instagram Shopping Ads Examples
Instagram Shopping ads let businesses tag products directly in a post. That way, a shopper can click on the product in the post and then view it either in an Instagram Shop or on the brand’s website.
This ad from Reebok is a good example to start with. First off, the ad doesn’t look like an ad, so it fits nicely among organic posts. However, the product is still front and center, so it gets attention. Notice the bag icon in the lower-left part of the image. When shoppers click that, they see what products are featured in the ad.
This is how you make an ad look like an organic post. The Dad uses humor that’s relatable to their target market. When a shopper stops to see what’s happening in the ad, they can also click the shopping tag and take a look at the T-shirt that’s featured.
Highsnobiety does something really cool in this ad. They combine shoppable tags and a carousel, so shoppers can see the entire outfit in the first slide, then a detail of each item in the next slides. That’s a great way to show shoppers how a collection can work together or in pieces.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell which part of an image is the product for sale. Rogue Fitness fixes that with a product tag in this Instagram ad example. It’s possible that the ad is for weights or a belt. When a shopper clicks the shopping tag, though, it’s clear that it’s the patch that matters.
Wassi’s Meat Market
Wassi’s Meat Market sells steak seasoning. They know that people who are going to buy the product will be much more interested in a well-cooked piece of beef than a photo of their bottle. However, they still want a way to feature their product, and Wassi’s does this with a product tag.
The color palette doesn’t stop being important just because there are shopping tags included. This ad from Magnolia features only a few basic colors, which is perfect for a product called “Simple Demoday Shirt.” Since this ad has over 18K likes, it seems to be right on hue.
Camping with Dogs
We mentioned before that shoppable tags let you bring products that are in the background of an image to the forefront of your shoppers’ view. Here’s an ad example from Camping with Dogs that does just that. This time, however, the brand has cleverly placed their product just behind an adorable pup, which is where your eyes are likely to go anyway.
Simply Carbon Fiber
This sleek ad from Simply Carbon Fiber has a couple of things going for it beyond its appearance. First, the brand manages to show off an entire collection of products without making the image seem crowded (shopping tags help since they only appear after the bag icon has been clicked). Second, they include a contest, which is a surefire way to increase ad engagement.
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana takes a slightly different tactic with this ad. Instead of showing complementary products, they use shopping tags to show similar products from a single color collection. In both cases, the tags make it easy for shoppers to pick the items that interest them most and get right to the details.
Instagram Stories Ads Examples
Instagram Stories ads are located along the top bar of a user’s feeds, right alongside organic Stories. Stories and Stories ads display vertically and take up the full mobile screen for a more immersive experience.
When a user clicks on one Story and it ends, the next one begins immediately. Stories ads look very similar to organic Stories and play in between them. These brands have created Stories ads that take advantage of that immersive experience.
Instagram Stories ads, like organic Stories, can last up to 15 seconds. Any video longer than 15 seconds is broken up into distinct cards that play one after the other. Skylight Frame uses this feature to their advantage. They begin by showing viewers what the product looks like and how it works in the first two cards. Then they explain the use case of their product in a fun way, with a text conversation between two gift-givers.
Who better than Instagram to use as an example for Instagram ads? This ad takes advantage of Stories’ full-screen video with a display. Viewers are jarred into focus when the basketball comes flying directly at them. Then the story continues visually, so even with the sound off, you can tell what’s happening.
Colgate also uses multiple Stories cards to share their message. They start by using one of the oldest and most effective tricks in the advertising book: ask your audience a question. Then they shift into a newer trend: the unboxing video. Both strategies engage the viewer and tap into our innate sense of curiosity.
AeroGarden has clued in to a cool Instagram Stories ads hack. That is, when a user clicks “…more,” the autoplay of Stories stops. That means, viewers get more time with your ad. Instagram automatically truncates large bodies of text in Stories and adds the “more” link, so all you need to do is include more copy in your ad. In this case, AeroGarden wisely uses their additional copy to provide positive reviews.
If you’ve ever experienced a broken phone, then you know much trouble it can cause. Mous uses stunning videography to show all the extreme torture your phone could survive if it was protected by their product.
When you sell an experience, you want your audience to imagine taking part. That’s what Xtreme Xperience accomplishes in this multi-card Stories ad. They leverage the full-screen, immersive quality of Stories to take viewers on-track, feeling what it would be like to drive an exotic and powerful sports car.
Still images can work well in an Instagram Stories ad, but they need to nail two basics. First, they need to stand out. Second, they need to tell a story. Pearmill does both in this ad. The striking color contrast draws eyes in, and the image instantly conveys “standing out from the crowd.”
Teach your audience something valuable. If you have no other clever ideas for ads, this one thing will help you grow an audience and build trust with them. BusinessCourseAcademy does that with a simple checklist for starting a business.
Another great strategy is to use your Stories ad as a product tutorial. Chirp does that in this ad with great effect. Not only do viewers get to see the product in action, but they can also read comments from users who have had success using it.
Educate, Entertain, and Inspire with These Instagram Ads Examples
Each of these great Instagram ads examples have something in common. They teach their audience something useful, entertain their audience, or inspire their audience to be better (or some combination of these).
When thinking about your next Instagram ad, ask yourself if it’s accomplishing at least one of these three goals. If it is, then you’re well on your way to creating an ad as good as the 53 examples here.