Instagram Video Creates Social Short-Cut for Brands Looking to Repurpose Ads


Launched just last month, Instagram video is already disrupting the distribution of video ads, with brands realizing that the app’s 15-second window provides the perfect platform to repurpose previously existing content.

Recycling ads, which is not creditied as a ‘best practice’ for brands looking to make an impression on social, has been utilized most notably by Carnival Cruise Lines, which posted nine clips of sun-filled video to its account recently, only to later delete the posts in fear of violating Instagram’s Terms of Service. 

“The videos weren’t shot using Instagram and thus were missing the sepia-toned, artfully out-of-focus aesthetic that characterizes much of its photography,” notes AdAge, pointing out that some of the clips has been previously posted to Carnival’s YouTube page. 

Carnival, like many brands, have an archive of 15-second pre-roll spots often deployed upon entering a website or viewing content. While the decision to make the videos 15-seconds in length was likely a decision made to attract brands with libraries of such content, the practice is being frowned upon by industry execs. “If you make content for Instagram, it should appeal to the Instagram user,” Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer told AdAge. “Repurposing content seems like a good idea until you substitute efficiency for effectiveness.”[more]

Instagram’s 15-second feature “is driven by the fact that video is the premium online ad model today,” Mitchell Reichgut, CEO of video advertising company JunGroup told VentureBeat. “Video commands the most revenue, drives the highest CPMs, and monetizes the best.” With Facebook readying to debut built-in video ads in Newsfeed, the social brands is essentially “killing two birds with one stone by building a revenue model for Instagram at the same time it enhances,” its own. 

While it doesn’t offer the in-app ability to import existing video, some say that’s best. “The best news about the launch of Instagram video is that you can’t import video—you have to shoot it in the app,” comments Iain Miller, head of innovation at creative agency Rufus Leonard, The Guardian reports. “Hopefully this will mean brands will try and understand what the medium is really good for, and create great new stuff—rather than lazily applying a filter to their existing TV ads.”

Not all brands are taking short-cuts to video content on Instagram. Early adopters including Nike, Burberry, Jeep and MTV have used the new feature to promote new products, provide first-looks at new collections or simply show-off their creative side.