- Instagram on Aug. 1 launched a new campaign in partnership with ad agency Johannes Leonardo and Meta's in-house creative shop Creative X, per details shared with Marketing Dive. “Instagram Connections” will run through Oct. 8 in the U.S.
- The campaign includes two three-minute short films, “Small Fries” and “Send Off,” that were shot in the real homes of Gen Z teens in Austin, Texas. Directed by Vincent Haycock, the films feature music by pop artist Dev Hynes.
- With the effort, the Meta-owned platform wants to show how it can help foster connection and creative expression for Gen Z users who have moved away from the app and toward TikTok in the last few years.
The “Instagram Connections” brand campaign shows the Meta platform making a pitch to and about Gen Z using content that resembles short films more than traditional ads. The effort is grounded in a sense of realism and authenticity that is in line with the cohort’s preferences and attitudes.
Both shorts document the ups and downs and FOMO of teen lifestyles in the types of moments that are frequently captured on Instagram. “Small Fries” revolves around a budding relationship that begins with a meet-cute at a fast food joint, while “Send Off” follows three friends who plan a snail-themed party as a fourth prepares to move away.
The films show how Instagram is a part of the characters’ lives, using emoji effects, message overlays and an innovative reverse-angle shot that emulates the smartphone screen’s point-of-view. The taglines — “Some big things start small” and “Where the little moments come together” — key into insights about using the platform as part of everyday acts of creative expression.
The Gen Z focus of “Instagram Connections” comes as the platform has lost ground over the last few years as teens have flocked to TikTok. The embattled ByteDance app remained teens’ most favored social media platform, ahead of both Snap and Instagram, according to Piper Sandler’s Spring 2023 Taking Stock with Teens survey.
However, Instagram remains a key part of Meta’s toolbox, and the company’s revenue increased 11% year-over-year in the second quarter. The app has seen success with a TikTok lookalike feature called Reels and is tied to the recently launched — and fast-growing — Threads, Meta’s answer to the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Along with the short films, the campaign includes video on over-the-top, full episode player and connected TV platforms, programmatic digital video and banners, social on TikTok, out-of-home, audio and podcasts, and on-platform ads.