Five brands nailing the art of Instagram’s carousel ads

Written on 02 June, 2015 by Emily Rice
Categories: Online Marketing, Social Media | Tags: marketing, online marketing, social media

Earlier this year, Instagram launched a brand new carousel ad format to help brands boost the storytelling elements of their campaigns. The feature allows shoppers to swipe through a series of photos before clicking through to a brand's website or page. Since the introduction, a few visionary brands have been able to turn rotating images into something special – and we've collected five of the best.

1. Samsung

The team at Samsung saw that Instagram's new ad platform offers the perfect opportunity to put a unique spin on the "how to" guide. It used the feature to showcase the camera capabilities on its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones, with each individual ad offering a bite-sized tutorial about a particular feature.

This was an excellent move for two reasons: not only are "how to" guides a particularly desirable form of content, the image-focused nature of Instagram is ideal for showing off a camera's picture-taking power.

2. Airbnb

As part of its ‘Never a Stranger’ campaign, Airbnb took full advantage of Instagram's new ads and created a carousel featuring images of a traveller enjoying a trip across Tulum, Tokyo, Paris, New York and Rio, and picking out particular holiday highlights.

The campaign focused on the spirit of adventure, new friendships and community, and its use of beautiful pictures of enticing locations was ideal for Instagram's new ad feature, which allowed it to create a real feel-good vibe that's likely to keep users swiping.

3. L’Oréal Paris

What better way to show off a lipstick's staying power than through a series of pictures telling the story of one community member's day? L’Oréal really jumped on the idea of telling a story through images and it worked perfectly for their ‘Infallible’ makeup line, which is marketed as hard-wearing and long-lasting.

Taking viewers through a day in the life of an influential community member (Kristina Bazan, in this case) was a smart way to create relatable content which showed how the products could be easily utilised.

4. Gap Inc.

Clothing giant Gap was also among the first to try out the new format, with carousel ads for two of its popular lines: Old Navy and Banana Republic. For the former, the retailer chose images highlighting the brand's affordable fashion and was targeted at young, trendy shoppers likely to be browsing the picture-sharing site.

For Banana Republic, the focus was on Song of Style blogger Aimee Song and the way she incorporated different products into her own personal style. This worked as a way to highlight several different items in the spring collection, and showed off some inspirational styling ideas.

5. Showtime

TV network Showtime quickly saw the opportunities available through the new ad format and used it to promote the premiere of Penny Dreadful's second season. On each ad, the brand delved further into the complex motivations and depths of a particular character, offering viewers extra insight. By using carousel ads as a way to further engage with fans, the network forged bonds that will remain strong across multiple mediums.

Take advantage of Instagram's new feature and make sure you tell a story in your carousel ads.