Instagram Ads Ideas Examples
9 minutes read

Since Instagram was acquired by Facebook, the social media platform practically exploded. It generates more traffic than ever and in terms of marketing and advertising, being linked with Facebook, it became a „must try” for every new or established brand or business. Why? 

People and businesses who are advertising on Instagram have now complete access to Facebook’s vast user data and thus, they can target specific audiences better than with any other social media network.

Instagram Ads

On top of that, we know that Instagram has the best engagement rate out of all social media platforms, which makes it one of the best choices for marketers and advertisers. Last but not least, Instagram story ads are not intrusive. They look just like the regular posts and therefore, they are more likely to generate engagement than any other ads published on similar platforms or even websites.

Instagram ads are just like any other banner ads, they are actionable images launched for a marketing purpose.

Before starting your advertising campaign, you need to create the perfect advertising banner for your brand or business.

You need inspiration and some free time at your disposal, to start browsing different Instagram ad examples from some of the most successful brands. Through this article however, I will try to give you a starting point.

Here are some of the best 24 Instagram ad ideas you can use for research, before actually starting to pay for yours.

1. Carousel Ads

Beats by Dre Instagram advertising banners


One of the most interesting and at the same time efficient ways to advertise on Instagram is through carousel ads. What does this option encompass? Well, carousel ads are advertising banners made up from two to ten different images. Each of these images can link to a different web page which makes them a perfect choice for eCommerce websites or producers that may want to show beside their products, some featured reviews or stores.

2. Showcase your product

Future Technology Instagram ad example


Of course, a good marketing option that can generate great results in terms of ROI can also be the showcase of your premium product. Should you choose to create an advertising banner similar to the following one and attach a customer’s testimonial to it, you might attract the attention of everybody who is looking for your product or something that is closely related or similar.

3. Show benefit

Soladey Instagram ad idea


You can get inspiration as well from a classic advertising banner such as the following promoted by Soladey. Why is this a classic type ad? Well, it has all the elements that are familiar to all of us who have seen a few visuals in the pages of the magazines or outside, on street billboards.

We have the traditional pretty model that is enjoying life, smiling, the product that is advertised and a tag line that shows the benefits of using the product. This is a simple, direct and effective Instagram ad idea.

4. Social Proof

Aaptiv Instagram banner example


If you are advertising a service or an app, you can get inspired for the following example from AAPTIV. We see a man training, while looking at his Smartphone. Aaptiv is a trainer app and the chosen image speaks for itself.

Besides, we have also a featured text, a social proof from Apple that shows the app is not only effective but also loved by their community.

5. Insert humor

Ultrapop Instagram ad example


Most of the marketing campaigns are based on humor on social media platforms. Humor attracts more followers and it helps create a friendly environment between the business and the customer. Why not use it for your advertising campaigns as well?

Take for instance the following example. It’s funny, easy to understand and at the same time, effective.

6. Use product promotion

Remarkablepaper Instagram ads


Another great and effective way to promote your products with Instagram ads is to use the advertising budget to promote sales and price cuts.

The following example from “Remarkable Paper” is quite eloquent for such a marketing campaign.

7. Free trials

VSCO Instagram ad example


VSCO is an art and technology company that tries to inspire people everywhere to create, discover, and connect. Their offer includes a series of apps and desktop presets for Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw with custom camera profiles for Sony, Cannon or Olympus. The ad they feature on Instagram promotes a free thirty days trial for their apps and presets.

The message is not that obvious, meaning that you have to be aware of what VSCO is when seeing this ad. However, considering you are already aware of their apps, the Instagram ad carries a direct and simple message that shouldn’t be omitted should you need their stuff.

8. Promote a webinar

Awesome Instagram Ad Ideas


Webinars are a great idea when it comes to content marketing. They would not be effective however, should nobody knew about what you are sharing with your fans or followers. Thus, if you want to promote a webinar, you can do it through the Instagram advertising engine, knowing that your marketing budget will be spent efficiently.

If you need inspiration, take the following example of a great webinar promotion through a carousel ad.

9. Brand awareness

Oreo Instagram Ad


You want to create brand awareness and at the same time promote your most valuable products or brand? Take the example of Oreo and their inspirational advertising visual promoted on Instagram. Their message is easy to comprehend and the visual design is effective and at the same time insightful.

You can use original designs as Oreo did for their campaign or, if you don’t have a designer or a budget to hire someone to design it for you, create an advertising banner by using a stock image or a beautiful product image.

10. Understand your audience

Waze advertising campaign


If you want to be successful in your marketing and advertising campaigns, you should understand your audience and address them directly. Moreover, you need to communicate the messages they want to receive from you.

Such a specific great ad comes from Waze, an application dedicated to drivers that are on the road and need guidance in order to choose the best route. The following example is quite insightful. It shows exactly what the user wants, what the app is about and at the same time, it features a call to action: Install Now.

11. Be an inspiration

Inspirational Instagram ads


You can also choose to create Instagram ads that would also be inspirational for your followers.

Take the example of Calyton: they are not only advertising their products but at the same time, they inspire their audience how to choose an entire outfit plus the essential accessories from them.

12. Special deal

Uniforms for the dedicated Instagram Ad


Do you have something special for your customers? Do you have a great deal for them? Show it in your advertising banner and make sure they understand your message. Look at the following ad from “Uniforms for the dedicated”, a popular clothing store.

Their message is centered, visible and straight forward. It’s a sale. It’s a sale for autumn and winter clothing and the background image also speaks for itself.

13. Product in action

Skull Candy Instagram ad idea


Every commercial product has a specific destination. Something that it was created for and the main reason the customers buy it. Create a visual that shows your customers exactly what your products are good for and you will never fail. Take this Instagram ad idea from Skull Candy and their promoted back pack.

What is a backpack good for? Hiking, perhaps? Well, that is exactly what their advertising banner shows us. A simple yet effective message.

14. Use illustration

Mimo carousel ad


Clipart illustrations and custom cartoon-style designs are also a good choice when it comes to creating a great advertising banner for Instagram. Get inspired from the following Mimo carousel ad. The first images tells you what you need to know, while the second two images from the carousel, gives you the options.

15. Create emotion

Jacobs Instagram carousel ad


Nothing attracts more than emotions. I am sure you’ve seen a lot of TV commercials that are trying to trigger positive emotions in order to associate them with a specific brand.

You can also try it on Instagram, by creating a great Instagram carousel ad like the following example from Jacobs. Except for their logo, we see three more images depicting people celebrating and enjoying each other company.

16. Overlay text messages

Oulu Business School Instagram ad idea



A basic and yet effective design for an Instagram ad is to select one or more stock photos that are representative for your services and pair them up with overlay text messages that are well targeted. The following example comes from a business school and the images and texts featured by each of the carousel slides are describing exactly what are they offering to their students.

17. Use superstars

Screen Shot 2017 08 16 At 11.38.53 AM



If your budget is big enough, you can hire stars from your industry or from complementary industries, to be featured on your Instagram ads. Or, in case you are organizing courses, webinars or conferences, you can use the spokespersons images, if they are popular among your customers.

18. Color combination

Screen Shot 2017 08 16 At 11.39.49 AM 1024x422



Consistency is important in every marketing campaign and therefore, when you are engaged in paid advertising as well. You can choose a simple or a carousel ad based on a simple but effective color combination similar to the following example. Or, you can choose the same colors that are featured on your logo or, colors that are specific for your brand.

19. Play a game

Screen Shot 2017 08 16 At 11.46.59 AM



Want to draw the younger generation’s attention? Give them something in return, something to keep them looking at your ad for more than one second. You can engage them positively by asking them to solve a puzzle or a game, similar to Island Experiment’s Instagram ad that is featured in the next example.

20. Minimalist design

Screen Shot 2017 08 16 At 11.48.22 AM 789x1024


While colors and stock photos are always a good option if chosen correctly, minimalist designs may also prove to be quite effective, especially for fashion industry or art designers. The following example comes from a career oriented website that features jobs for those who are looking for places to work. The minimalist design works perfectly for them so, why wouldn’t it work for you as well?

21. Personal brand

Screen Shot 2017 08 16 At 11.49.13 AM


If you are working on building a personal brand, you can advertise on Instagram the same way you would have done it for your business or brand. Except for the fact that you will be promoting yourself, similar to how Steve Bartlett is doing it in the following Instagram ad.

22. Give a solution

Screen Shot 2017 08 16 At 11.50.52 AM


If you are offering something that is useful for your customers, you can also advertise that on your Instagram banner. The following Instagram ad idea from Y productive is quite relevant for a solution giving advertisement. There is the question, the call to action and in the description section, we find out to whom the visual is addressing.

23. Celebrate a moment

Screen Shot 2017 08 16 At 11.51.34 AM


Do you have something special to celebrate? A milestone or a specific event that may attract more followers or customers? Share it through a simple Instagram ad like the following example from Designer Bundle.

24. Use quotes

Screen Shot 2017 08 16 At 11.55.25 AM 796x1024


It seems that for some time, quotes are the most interesting thing you can find online, besides pictures of cats, of course. Everybody shares quotes nowadays on pictures or memes. Can you do it on an Instagram advertising banner? Of course you can. However, choose the right quote for your brand, a quote that delivers the exact message you want your followers to receive. Put it on a great and relevant stock photo and launch your campaign.


If you want to create the Instagram ads that will draw attention and generate engagement from your customers and / or followers, you will need great ideas to start with. You need inspiration and the best way to get it is to study the market. Find out what the big brands are doing, how successful businesses advertise their products or services etc.

Recently, we launched this new Instagram ebook that made me reconsider everything on account of creating the best ads on Instagram.

Before you will read it as well, I would like to also recommend you to get inspired with all the ad ideas described in this article, that I am sure will give you a head start over your competition.

Robert Katai
Robert Katai is the Product Marketing Specialist at Creatopy. His work was featured on Adweek, Entrepreneur, Marketing Profs, Content Marketing Institute and other places.


  1. These banners are very impressive. I am going to try it.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. This is very inspiring. I really like to try this ideas. I will really try this for my instagram account.

  3. I think that Instagram is very helpful in growing a business. I want to make an Instagram ad too. Thanks for sharing this article. I believe that this is a big help to me.

  4. Excellent Post . I have been trying at Instagram ads for while now with no visible results untill recentlyI discovered I lacked proper Ad design, that was it, my targeting and everything was right the ad wasn’t just appealing, Thanks to Fiverr and especially this awesome lady who helped me with design and some advice. I’ve been using here for two months now and I swear she’s the best so far. My Instagram Business changed completely after that. Thanks for the article ! I learnt some new stuff

  5. Hi, thank you for this inspiring article.
    Are you still providing the free eBook with ads examples? When I click the download link it says not available.

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