Auto-Play Video Ads Debut on Instagram

By David Cohen 

DisneyBigHero6InstagramVideoAd650Auto-play video ads debuted on Instagram Thursday, as Adweek reported that 15-second units from Disney, Activision, Lancôme, Banana Republic and The CW began running on the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network.

Adweek pointed out that Instagram applied the same strict standards to video ads that it imposes on photo ads, with all creative going under review and an eye toward fresh content, and not repurposed material.

Disney is promoting feature film Big Hero 6 (screenshot above, courtesy of Adweek), and senior vice president of media Anthy Price told Adweek:

We felt like we wanted to step up in a big way for Big Hero 6, and we’re excited about video.

Lancôme is using Instagram auto-play video ads to push a new fragrance and mascara, and assistant VP of media Brian Chang told Adweek:

It wasn’t a hard decision for us. We, as a brand, wanted to take advantage of being first to market.

Game developer Activision is sharing a 15-second clip from a longer, live-action video on the “Call of Duty” Facebook page, and its head of digital and social media, Jonathan Anastas, told Adweek:

Our audience is becoming increasingly mobile-centric, and Instagram is a mobile-centric platform, so it’s an important part of the marketing mix. One of the great advantages of working on the marketing team for Call of Duty is that gamers broadly — and our target audience specifically — just inhale content.

Banana Republic is incorporating Instagram’s Hyperlapse time-lapse video application into its behind-the-scenes look at holiday fashions, and Marissa Webb, the apparel retailer’s creative director and executive VP of design, told Adweek:

We are targeting women because these are fashion illustrations and the focus is on women’s products.

And The CW is promoting new series The Flash with a clip of passengers in a plane on the runway seeing a burst of light outside the windows of the aircraft, and the television network’s head of digital marketing, Caty Burgess, told Adweek:

We created it from scratch and were sort of wondering where to put it when the Instagram opportunity popped up, and it was like kismet. We wanted to take full advantage of the Instagram opportunity and do something memorable.

Readers: Have you seen any auto-play video ads on Instagram yet?