15 best Instagram ads to inspire your next campaign

instagram ads header

With the number of active users forecast to reach 1.4 billion in 2024, there’s no denying that Instagram is one of the best channels for promoting your brand. Thanks to its massive user base, you have the power to reach millions of potential customers with your Instagram ads. But with every other marketer trying to do the same, how do you make your ads stand out? 

To inspire your next ad campaign and to increase your chances of success, we’ve gathered 15 of the best Instagram ad examples, including video ads, photos ads, carousel ads, and Stories. 

Get ready to take your social media marketing to a whole new level! And while you’re here, why not get inspired by our roundup of the best brands on Instagram.

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Types of Instagram ads

Instagram video ads

Instagram video ads are sponsored videos that appear in users’ feeds. These ads can range from 15 to 60 seconds in length, and they’re designed to promote products, services, or events in an eye-catching and immersive way, with a call-to-action link to a relevant page. 

Instagram photo ads

Photo ads are static images that appear in users’ Instagram feeds. That might be a photograph, a graphic, or a combination of the two, with creative messaging and your brand’s logo layered on top of an image. Photo ads include a specific call-to-action to encourage users to convert.

Instagram carousel ads

Instagram carousel ads feature multiple images or videos that users can swipe through. These ads can have between two and 10  scrollable cards, each with its own image or video, caption, and call-to-action button. You might use carousel ads to showcase multiple products or highlight different features of a single product.

Instagram Story ads

Instagram’s Story ads are full-screen, vertical photos or videos that are served to target audiences as they browse Instagram Stories. They’re designed to be short and attention-grabbing, typically lasting between five and 15 seconds. They can include interactive features like polls, questions, and swipe-up links that lead to your website.

The five best Instagram video ad examples

1. Airbnb 

Airbnb ad

Source: instagram.com

I love a good travel ad, especially this one from Airbnb!

When you’re sitting scrolling instead of working, nothing jumps out more than the chance to escape. This clever Instagram ad from Airbnb starts out with something that feels familiar – a busy skyline, huge office blocks, that familiar city claustrophobia and noise – then juxtaposes it with a calm, peaceful countryside scene, complete with birdsong. 

I don’t know about you but it makes me want to book something right away!

What makes this one of the best Instagram ads is that it acknowledges a pain point in its audience’s lives, and demonstrates how the brand can help out. Think about the problems your audience faces and how your business solves that for them. Put a creative spin on it, and there you have it – your next Instagram ad. 

For more great creative from Airbnb, check out our roundup of the best animated commercials.

2. Durex 

Durex ad

Source: instagram.com

This video ad from Durex is so relatable it hurts. The text on top of the video immediately strikes a chord, luring you in as you think “oh good, it’s not just me”. The song choice, the flashing lights, the facial expressions – everything about this ad is spot on, and positions Durex as a brand that understands its audience’s irrational fears.

When coming up with your next Instagram ad idea, think about how you can demonstrate that your brand understands its audience. Get on their level, and inject an element of humor if appropriate.

3. IKEA 

ikea ad

Source: instagram.com

Colorful and eye-catching with upbeat music, the energy of this video ad is impossible to ignore. It feels like some sort of psychedelic dream, and you’re left wanting to add some of that kookiness to your life! 

If you’ve got a decent budget to play with for creating Instagram ads, then a professional-looking video ad like this would work wonders for your brand image. 

4. Uber 

uber ad

Source: instagram.com

On the other end of the spectrum, this Instagram ad from Uber is proof that you don’t have to break the bank to create a good video ad. It features simple animation and a clever choice of song lyrics to deliver its timely message. So simple, yet so effective.

5. Häagen Dazs 

Haagen dasz ad

Source: instagram.com

The simplicity of this Instagram ad from Häagen Dazs is what makes it so appealing. The upbeat music immediately jumps out at you, the product being advertised makes you feel hungry, and the straightforward messaging reminds you of exactly what you’d rather be doing right now. Next time you go to the store, Häagen Dazs will be in your basket.

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The four best Instagram photo ad examples

1. Domino’s

Dominos ad

Source: instagram.com

Domino’s is renowned for its Instagram advertising. The brand does a great job of showcasing its personality via its Instagram ads, and this is the perfect example. It’s instantly eye-catching, it’s witty, and it positions Domino’s as a brand that’s got your back. 

2. Expedia 

Expedia ad

Source: instagram.com

Playing with a phrase that has become a cultural touchstone thanks to social media, Expedia appeals to its holiday-obsessed target audience. The bright, sunny yellow only heightens the desire to book a flight, and the brand’s logo in the corner means that the brand will keep getting credit when its audience inevitably shares this with their friends or on their Story.

3. Uber 

Uber ad

Source: instagram.com

User-generated content is a cheap and easy way to create ads, as this example from Uber demonstrates. The brand has layered a screenshot of a funny (and very relatable) tweet over a photo background  to make it look and feel like a meme. And just like that, they’ve created an image that users will be tempted to share on their own socials. This could also be done with reviews and testimonials!

4. McDonald’s 

This Instagram ad example from McDonald’s is a good demonstration of out-the-box thinking. It’s so simple – just a pair of flip flops being carried on the beach – but it’s eye-catching and instantly recognizable as belonging to the brand. This was published to celebrate the first day of summer, with the aim of keeping McDonald’s front of mind for consumers. 

McDonalds ad

Source: instagram.com

The three best Instagram carousel ad examples

1. McDonald’s

Little miss ad

Source: instagram.com

Another offering from McDonald’s, but this time in the form of a carousel ad. Pairing two beloved brands – McDonald’s and Mr Men – this carousel ad encourages you to click through to see if you can spot your own personality (or the personality of anyone you know). It’s the perfect recipe for shareability and engagement!

2. Coachella 

Coachella ad

Source: instagram.com

This carousel ad from Coachella leverages the popularity of Phoebe Bridgers’ to promote other acts at the festival. After all, the more people get to know their lineup, the more likely they are to sell tickets. By adding a different video to each card, this carousel ad keeps hold of users’ attention. By the time you scroll through all four, Coachella is pretty front-of-mind! 

3. Nike Basketball

nike instagram ad

Source: instagram.com

This Instagram carousel ad makes brilliant use of the carousel function, firstly by making it seem like the image is sliding across, rather than switching to a second image, and secondly by taking the user on a journey.  The first ad image creates a sense of intrigue, forcing the audience to engage and click across to the next image, where the big reveal takes place. As one commenter notes: “I love how it uses the slide to change perception.”

The three best Instagram Story ad examples

1. Gymshark 

gymshark insta story ad

Source: instagram.com

Gymshark – a brand built on social media marketing – used Instagram Story ads to launch its “Flex” activewear line, and it pretty much ticked all the boxes. Eye-catching visuals? Check. A model showing off some of the new products? Check. A clear CTA? Check! The flashing text in particular grabs your attention, encourages you to pause between Stories, and makes you want to find out more. 

2. Wise 

transferwise insta story ad

Source: pictochart.com

This Story ad from Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) showcases how thinking outside the box can work wonders for Instagram advertising. The clever team at Wise saw the parallel between the step-by-step process of international money transfers and the step-by-step process of recipes. Et voilà, a food-focused Instagram Story that appeals to foodies, positions Wise as a global brand, and demonstrates how easy it is to use the app.

3. Bloomberg Businessweek

bloomberg instagram ad

Source: instagram.com

It’s the bright yellow background of this Instagram story ad example from Bloomberg Businessweek that first catches my attention. But that in itself doesn’t make it one of the best Instagram ads. It’s the combination of that, the clear and well-positioned font, the clean and well-designed graphic, and last but not least, the clear CTA encouraging users to subscribe. Plus, the fact they’re advertising a bargain always helps! 

How to speed up client feedback on Instagram ads

Coming up with new Instagram campaigns with clients can be equally exciting and exhausting at the same time. On one hand, exchanging creative energy can lead to fantastic results. But on the other hand, chasing everyone for feedback can negatively impact your collaboration.

With a client feedback tool like Filestage, you can have your review process basically run itself, waving goodbye to sleepless nights of waiting for someone’s feedback. 

Filestage allows teams to share, discuss, and approve all their files, all in one place – including documents, images, videos, websites, and audio files. Plus, all reviewers will get notified whenever there’s a due date approaching, making sure you collect all your approvals in time.