Disney, Samsung Among Instagram Carousel Ad Pioneers

Brands are starting to utilize Instagram’s latest ad offering, taking advantage of the ability to link to product pages from their ads.

Instagram has become more shoppable over the last few months. Last month, the Facebook-owned platform launched carousel ads, which give advertisers more flexibility by allowing sequential photos and additional links.

“Brand advertisers on Instagram want more ways to tell more complete stories around their brands and the Instagram community wants the ability to learn more about the brand, image, or product featured in an ad,” an Instagram spokesperson says. “With carousel ads, brands have the potential to bring the multi-page print campaign experience to mobile phones, with the added benefit of taking people to a website to learn more.” 

Early adopters of the ad format include Disney and Banana Republic, both pioneers of Instagram’s auto-play video ads in October, as well as Samsung, Showtime, L’Oreal Paris, Tiffany and Co., and Old Navy.

Samsung uses the carousel to demonstrate how well the camera on its Galaxy S6 smartphone can zoom in, while L’Oreal leverages the format to tell a story, following a day in the life of Kristina Bazan, a Swiss beauty blogger with 1.5 million Instagram followers of her own.

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Andrew Van Noy, chief executive (CEO) of mobile and e-commerce solutions provider Warp 9, thinks it’s a smart move for the brands, as not only is Instagram extraordinarily popular – in December, the platform reached 300 million users, surpassing Twitter – but people are now spending more time in social media apps than on traditional Web browsers.

“If you’re a marketer or retailer, it makes sense to go where the eyeballs are focused,” Van Noy says. “Instagram’s new features like carousel photos and Web links are changing the e-commerce landscape, allowing brands like Banana Republic to jump their followers directly onto their own product pages on their own online store platforms, whatever they may be, to close sales fast.”

Van Noy is excited to see what other e-commerce innovations are in store for the platform. Up next? Instagram is reportedly working out the kinks for a new offering that would allow marketers to link to checkout pages more easily.

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