Instagram Is Introducing Video Ads Today With 5 Major Brands

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Instagram’s slow-play entrance into the mobile video advertising market is picking up speed. Today, according to Ad Week, the Facebook-owned image and video sharing app is officially launching video ads with Disney, Activision, Lancome, Banana Republic and the CW network.

The move comes on the heels of recent activity on this front by Tumblr and Snapchat, and Instagram is pushing forward after about six months of testing. Instagram has been extremely cautious about how it serves all ads since it started selling them a year ago. CEO Kevin Systrom has said that he reviews every ad before it runs to make sure they don’t seem too much like advertising.

Such scrutiny is necessary because there were some negative reactions to early Instagram advertising and the company needs to make sure it doesn’t alienate a significant number of its 200 million active users. And Instagram has apparently convinced its some major early adopters that is has dialed in the advertising mix. Ad Week’s article says Instagram reports positive brand awareness and ad recall from its testing and that the launch advertisers were eager to be seen an innovators.

“It wasn’t a hard decision for us,” Brian Chang, assistant vp of media at Lancome USA, told Ad Week. “We, as a brand, wanted to take advantage of being first to market.”

The video ads, which will start today and roll out in the coming weeks, have a 15-second maximum length like native Instagram video. They play automatically while they are visible in a users’ steam. Videos with audio are muted until a user taps the volume control.

Banana Republic’s ad, embedded below, used Facebook’s Hyperlapse app to create the video. You can view other ads at Ad Week.


About The Author

Martin Beck was Third Door Media’s Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.

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