Instagram now lets marketers run minute-long ads

Dive Brief:

  • Instagram has doubled the maximum length of video ads to 60 seconds, according to several media reports.
  • The move was made in recognition that marketers and agencies already have video creative assets of that length, often made for TV spots, an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch.
  • One of the first ads in the new longer format is T-Mobile running an extended version of its 30 second Super Bowl ad featuring Drake. Warner Brothers is also running a 60-second Instagram ad for its new movie "How to Be Single."

Dive Insight:

Though Instagram users can still only post 15 second videos, advertisers have now been bumped up from 30 second video ads to being able to purchase minute-long spots.

Parent company Facebook began selling ads on Instagram in September with a variety of ad formats including the 30 second video ad unit. The move to the longer format anticipates a shift in spending from TV to digital. It also recognizes that video ad formats need to be interchangeable between the different marketing channels rather than forcing brands and agencies to come up with new creatives that fit proprietary formats.

The social photo-sharing app isn't alone in offering longer-format video ads -- Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat do so, too. 

TechCrunch, however, pointed out even though Instagram is making it easy for marketers to reuse TV creative on the platform, in terms of effectiveness, there’s still the challenge of reaching an audience with short attention spans. Further, those users are likely viewing the ad with no sound.

Though these formats are available, and more brand marketers are likely to jump at the opportunity to tell longer stories through those ads, these platforms have a fine line to toe. As the author of the TechCrunch article puts it, social platforms have to find the best way to "maximize value for advertisers while minimizing the interruption to their users."

Recommended Reading

TechCrunch: Instagram Extends Video Ads To 60 Seconds To Score TV Dollars
Digiday: Instagram launches minute-long video ads with T-Mobile's Drake spot
Marketing Dive: Instagram ads are reportedly something of a bargain for marketers


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