How These Brands Are Using Instagram Story Ads in Creative Ways


Instagram stories are one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience on social media. They have great organic reach and offer an engaging format to put across strong content. Stories are one of the most popular features of Instagram, and they offer a powerful landscape for businesses to advertise on.

Using Instagram story ads can be incredibly rewarding, but you also need the right kind of content for success. The ads should be creative, engaging, captivating, and fast. High-converting ads shouldn’t be too salesy, and they need to stand out from the huge amount of competition. If you get it wrong, viewers will swipe past your ad in seconds. If you get it right, prepare for a huge boost in your customers.

Let’s take a look at some amazing examples of how brands are using story ads to come up with creative, powerful Instagram marketing campaigns that set them apart from the rest.



Spotify knows that the secret to successful Instagram story ads comes from simplicity. Stories move quickly, and Instagram users absorb ads in a matter of seconds. This is why Spotify creates story ads that can be taken in and understood instantly.

The music streaming giant uses striking photographs and crisp, clear copy. A good example of this would be an ad with the wording “Play on-demand, offline, everywhere”. This instantly lets you know exactly what Spotify offers and what type of value you can get from them. An overview of their entire offering is only communicated in 5 words.

The brand’s use of bright colors and bold imagery helps to catch the attention of Instagram users and promotes a sense of fun. If you see their ads, you instantly understand what Spotify offers without having to hang around and think. This quick connection is essential for successful Instagram ads.

Spotify ad

What You Can Learn From This

When it comes to your own Instagram story ads, make sure that they are easily digestible. This is the golden rule for ads that need to be absorbed within a few seconds. Use short, compelling copy and bright, bold imagery. Try to use colors that don’t blend in with everything else.


There are various features that you can add to your Instagram story ads to reach better levels of engagement – such as polls. Walmart is the expert at using polls in their Instagram story ads to capture attention, boost engagement, and entice more customers.

Walmarts story ads ask simple questions that everyone has their own thoughts on. The questions relate to Walmarts products, helping them to entice viewers and get them thinking about things they can buy at Walmart. When you see their ads, you are immediately intrigued to cast your vote and check out the results of the poll. This leads to viewers starting a course of action which makes it more likely for them to swipe up.

What Can You Learn From This

Putting out ads that viewers can engage with makes it much more likely that they will swipe up and head to your store. Using a simple poll is an easy way to get Instagram users to stop on your ad, interact with it, and build a higher level of interest. Instead of just selling something and promoting your products in a straightforward way, it’s a great idea to get viewers thinking about your products and bringing their own opinions and experiences into your ad.


The North Face

The North Face knows how to create simple ads that are intriguing but not overly salesy. Their content combines attractive shots of their products with fun, simple messaging. For example, an Instagram story ad of theirs advertising different types of sleeping bags reads “Whether you’re single” with an image of a single sleeping bag, “Whether you’re taken” with an image of a double sleeping bag, “Don’t swipe right, swipe up to match the perfect bag”.

This kind of messaging is fun and incredibly easy to digest. It gets the viewer interested and entertained, with a good way of luring them to swipe up to shop. An ad like this is effective in its simplicity.

What You Can Learn From This

Take a fun approach to advertise your products. Don’t be afraid to entertain the viewer. There are many different ways that you can convey your messaging, and the best approach is to not be too directly salesy.

Rather, try to grab the audience’s attention through other clever approaches. The North Face compares their products to the viewer’s lifestyle and gets them to visit their shop with a light-hearted way of saying swipe up. The ads perfectly show off The North Face’s products, but they aren’t trying too hard when it comes to selling you their sleeping bags.


Nike is always a leading force when it comes to advertising, mainly thanks to their huge budgets. While this brand may have the resources to run hundreds of ads targeted towards various Instagram users, they still keep things simple for maximum impact.

Nike uses bright colors, bold imagery, and short, powerful messages. The sheer simplicity of their ads makes them stand out. They are able to grab attention through bright colors, captivating taglines, and fresh product shots.

Nike ad

What You Can Learn From This

When it comes to Instagram story ads, less is more. Instead of providing detailed product descriptions or lengthy sales pitches, capture the viewer’s attention by being bold and simple. Condense your copy into a handful of words, and make your images stand out with strong colors and interesting angles. Instagram stories move quickly, so creating simple punchy ads is essential for gathering more attention.


Udemy uses the same ad visuals across their social media platforms. Their Instagram stories ads are perfectly adapted for this style. They use copy that is clear and to the point, matching up with the images used.

Their compelling copy will explain exactly how a course through Udemy can enhance your life without using too many words. The related images are just as clear and concise. This allows the viewer to absorb all the information they need to put across with minimal explanations. Udemy is fantastic at condensing a lot of, potentially technical, information into a clear, simple format.

Udemy ad

What You Can Learn From This

Even a business like Udemy that offers loads of information needs to find a way to convey its messaging in an easily digestible format. Make sure that your copy is clear, and that it offers something to the viewer. You can repurpose the same social media marketing content across your ads, just make sure that it is optimized for its use.


Netflix uses its Instagram story ads to entice viewers to sign up for a 30-day free trial. Their ad has a clear offer at the end which helps to generate a response and reason for swiping up. Netflix grabs attention by showing a short highlight reel of some of their top shows.

This approach is classic and effective. Netflix gives the viewer a taste of what they offer and then entices them with a free trial.


What You Can Learn From This

No matter how good your ad content is, it doesn’t really do anything if it isn’t drawing in the viewer’s attention with an offer. Netflix offers an accessible, actionable step to get customers on board by offering a free trial. Use your ads to get customers to your product pages, signing up for your email marketing list, or something similar. Don’t just promote products and hope that they will search for them.

By using a showreel in their ads, they are clearly displaying what they offer and how Netflix can be enjoyed. When running your own ads, try to create content that sells itself. There’s no need to overexplain things, rather just offer a clear depiction of what you sell and why it has value.


Most Instagram story ads try to hook you in through enticing visuals and powerful messaging. Calm simply tells you to stop right where you are. This meditation app uses video in its ads for a more engaging format. The brand directs the viewer to take a break and slow down. This is in line with their product offering, and it helps to keep people on their ad, listening to more.

By instructing the viewer to slow down and breathe, Calm is also offering a type of quick look into what their product can do. If the viewer enjoys the few seconds that they spent relaxing during the Calm ad, they might be inspired to download the app.


What You Can Learn From This

Video is a powerful format for Instagram story ads that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you choose a video, make sure to hook the viewer in straight away. Calm offers some insight into their app and its values by getting users to slow down and pause on their ad. Try to incorporate what your brand can do to help the viewer in your ad, and not just what your brand sells. If the viewer can get a small taste of how your product is beneficial, they will likely want to find out more.


With roughly one billion users worldwide, Instagram is an essential platform for your business to advertise on. Stories are one of the popular features of this social media app, and they are an engaging way to get your ads out to the masses. While there is so much room for success, you need to make sure that your Instagram ads are suitable for their purpose. Successful story ads can make up an important part of your marketing funnel.

Instagram story ads that do it wrong will lose viewers’ attention straight away. There is such a small window for these ads to be effective, so marketers need to make sure that they pull in the viewer from the very first second they see the ad. Use the creative examples above to help inspire your own Instagram story ads for better results. The smallest details can go a long way.


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