Advertising has had its fair share of evolution, from pamphlets to television commercials. Only brands that stayed abreast with new modes managed to stand the test of time, and competition (of course).

With the entire world vibing to trending audios on Instagram, it’s apparent that the new avatar of advertising lives and breathes on social media. More specifically, on Instagram.

What are the different types of Instagram ads brands can run?

Instagram ads have emerged as one of the most effective ways for brands to promote their products for two reasons. One, that’s where the audience is now. Two, the social platform offers a whole smorgasbord of ads that a brand can utilise to maximise efficacy of their campaigns.

Video ads

If you want to take a storytelling approach to advertise your brand offering, video ads on Instagram are the perfect option. They can be up to a minute long and are a fascinating way to draw attention. There is a caveat, however. Attention spans are fleeting, so make sure the content gets the audience glued within the first few seconds. 

Photo ads 

These are static images that the brand can use to advertise on Instagram. You have the option to use an existing post or content generated specifically for an ad. Still pictures rarely capture the attention of the audience, so it’s advised to add motion graphics to them.

Carousel ads

Similar to image ads, this type of advert allows up to 10 photos in a single post, making it perfect to showcase different products. Lately, sharing parts of an image in the form of a carousel is one of the most trending ways to advertise.


Collection ads

This form of advertisement post allows a user to straight away shop for the product. It’s effective because shoppers don’t have to hop from one platform to another, reducing friction.

Ads on Story 

One of the most popular ways to promote a brand on Instagram is through Stories. These branded content ads have a link sticker that allows customers to explore more.  

Ads on Explore

Landing on the Explore page is the best trick to discoverability. Now brands have the option to run ads specifically made for it. While these ads do not appear in the grid itself, they appear when a user opens the Explore feed.

instagram ads example

Ads on Reels

This feature is still being tested, but it’s available in India. Given that Reels are the most consumed format on Instagram, it makes sense to capitalise them to generate awareness. 

Inspiring examples of Instagram ads 

Now that the basics are all done, let’s dive into some exemplary Instagram ads to inspire you to take your promotion game to the next level.


This ad by Heinz reminds us that anything can evoke emotions. Even a bottle of ketchup. We think the pairing with French fries is rather ingenious and a great shadow play to depict a palm tree. We can just feel the serenity of a beach! Creativity, indeed, does not always require a grand setup to stand out!


myantra ads

Myntra keeps it simple and classic, an extremely effective way to promote products. A typical ad by a carousel post featuring various looks with product tags. The user can conveniently click on ‘View Products’ and be re-directed to the Instagram shopping feature. Myntra is a star when it comes to advertising products in a visually appealing way on Instagram while keeping its objective of maximising consumer convenience at the centre of such promotions.


It would be sinful to talk about exemplary Instagram ads and not mention Zomato. This brand never fails to amaze with their cinematic ads that have up to a minute-long display of delectable food items. Please tell us we are not the only ones who always fall into the “Use App” temptation! The ad directs you straight to their app, where you can order everything to satiate your cravings. Amazing promotion, isn’t it?


McDonald’s instagram ads

Who could have thought an image of flashy red flip-flops on a beach could be an advertisement for McDonald’s? Well, to McDonald’s lovers like us, it is instantly reminiscent of our favourite McDonald’s burgers! This too invokes a feeling of the sheer joy of being at a beach on a bright, sunny day (with our McD favourites, of course). McDonald’s aced it with this simple yet creative promotion of their brand. 



This IG story ad is a perfect example of a promotion that catches the eye. The ad effortlessly entices the audience to try out their service with an attractive offer.