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10 Profitable Instagram Story Ad Examples


Oct 11, 2023

When Instagram was created, it was first pictured as a photo-based social media platform. As the years passed, the platform integrated new content delivery systems, such as Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories are all about visually attractive videos and images that appeal to users due to their spontaneity and uniqueness. Nowadays, many brands use Stories as a great marketing tool to reach their target audiences with ads.

Instagram Stories are highly effective - over 65% of users discover new products through Stories instead of regular posts, and over 64% of all Instagram adults use the Stories feature on the Instagram app (GitNux).

Stories have a 24-hour time limit to make an impact - this short period of time should be used to showcase the unique sense of your online business as quickly as possible.

But how are brands effectively leveraging ads in Instagram Stories? In this post, we'll talk about the following topics:

  • 10 profitable Instagram ad Story examples;
  • How to make the best out of an Instagram ad Story campaign;
  • Key takeaways and in-depth analysis for each successful IG Story ad example.

1. SpoiledChild - Instagram Story Ads Worth Sharing

SpoiledChild, a one-of-its-kind wellness brand, wanted to raise awareness about its products, including its unique SpoiledBrain , an online personalization engine that helps customers find the perfect products that fit their needs.

However, creating awareness videos was challenging, as the nature of their product made it difficult to make just one candid video clip to promote on Instagram.

This resulted in the creation of 15 different video ads that would be presented to the audience through Instagram Stories.

These 15 ad Stories have 63 prototypes , and the objective was to spark curiosity in the minds of their audiences (always with the audience in mind).

Since it was difficult to show their main product in action, the marketing team recorded different videos in several NY locations and then added their eye-catching green capsule packaging with CGI.

Key Takeaways:

  • Continuous design inspiration for their videos was the key for SpoiledChild to creat e eye-catching, memorable Story content that appealed to its audience;
  • The Stories Ad Campaign was simultaneously run in both Reels and Facebook , which provided Spoiled Child with versatility and creativity to reach more people;
  • The campaign resulted in several million Story and video views, as the brand reached 47 million Instagram users, a significant 13-point increase in ad recall, and a 4.4-point increase in brand awareness.

2. Pepe Jeans - Know Your Target Audience, Get Great Results

Pepe Jeans, a casual wear jeans brand, decided to reach its target audience by partnering with pop superstar Dua Lipa.

Pepe Jeans knew that their target customers were highly into music , which motivated them to release Instagram Story video ads featuring Dua Lipa.

The Instagram Advertising Campaign aligned with the customer pain points and desires around the brand, which allowed the company to reach a broad audience online.

Pepe Jean's was a month-long campaign that targeted users in the US and UK, as these two markets are where most Dua Lipa fans were.

As a result, Pepe Jeans found out that Instagram Stories combined with prominent celebrities was a great avenue for brands that wanted to connect with highly engaged audiences.

Key Takeaways:

  • Thanks to the massive popularity of Dua Lipa, Pepe Jeans managed to increase brand awareness, as celebrities working with featured brands tend to deliver some of the best results in the industry;
  • Instagram Stories featuring Pepe Jeans and Dua Lipe reached over 5 million users and amassed nearly 4.5 million views;
  • Pepe Jeans enhanced its international appeal, as the brand recorded a 5-point increase in overall brand awareness for their desired target markets.

3. Wendy's - Combining Instagram Stories with Video Content

We all know Wendy's, but that doesn't mean that this massive fast-food chain cannot run an effective Instagram Story Ad campaign to drive more visitors.

Wendy's identified the customer journey of their customers and decided to run a "campaign for tech," but focused on driving app orders and enhancing awareness through new technologies.

Wendy's released a series of Instagram Stories in partnership with Spark Foundry , a widely recognized Facebook Marketing Partner.

The objective was to promote March Madness , a basketball event, and to do so, Wendy's combined augmented reality filters with the marvels of the Metaverse.

Key Takeaways:

  • The campaign brought a 4.1-point lift in ad recall for the half-court shot AR ad and gaming microsite ad. By focusing on audiences with different interests, Wendy's was able to get to multiple users with lower acquisition costs than expected.
  • Wendy's decided to innovate - the IG Story ad campaign motivated Instagrammers to use the AR filters and games , which resulted in an interesting way to increase engagement rate.
  • Wendy's experienced a 9.1-point lift in ad recall as Instagram Stories reached over 52 million users between the months of March and April.

4. CipiCipi - The Power of Interactive Instagram Stories

CipiCipi, a Japanese cosmetic brand, knew that using just video Stories on Instagram would not help them differentiate from their competitors.

Instead of using a static image with bright colors, the brand opted for integrating an interactive quiz with an animated, eye-catching video into Instagram stories.

The concept was simple yet extremely smart: Instagrammers would see a Story video of characters using CipiCipi products, and by interacting with it, they would be redirected to a personality quiz.

The quiz ended with a link to the best CipiCipi products to match the personalities of the users. The results of the conversion lift study are admirable.

Key Takeaways:

  • CipiCipi targeted a broad audience of Japanese women with "incremental conversion" objectives in mind;
  • Instead of opting for classic images, the brand pushed toward a more d ynamic, original, and creative Story ad that integrated Meta's Messenger Features;
  • The campaign resulted in 73% more website visits than usual, as well as an overall increase in sales by integrating financial products into dynamic Instagram DM features through Stories.

5. Target - Tell Stories Through Instagram Stories

Target, one of the most famous general retailers in the United States, wanted to show support for the LGBTQIA+ community and raise brand awareness by running an Instagram Story ad campaign.

Everyone has a story to tell, and Target knew that IG Stories were the perfect place to show support to a historically suppressed community.

To do so, Target created two different types of ads: the first one used the #TakePride campaign in classic IG Story videos, and the second one focused on attracting users to Target's Metaverse, a virtual space in the Horizon Worlds platform.

The company wanted to connect with the LGBTQ+ community and drive awareness around the importance of LGBTQ+ community members in our society.

Key Takeaways:

  • Users who saw Target's Instagram Stories showed an increasing interest in participating in their Metaverse, as the virtual space drove over 2,500 visitors with an average time of 13 minutes per person;
  • By using Instagram Stories, Target achieved a 6.3-point lift in message association , which shows us the accuracy of the campaign's audience targeting with Meta technologies.
  • Target received a substantial 13-point lift in ad recall. This demonstrates that the brand's IG story ads worked to provide the results they were after successfully.

6. Miller Lite - Higher Conversion Rates for Consumer Brands

Miller Lite, a brand that sells pilsner-style light beers in the United States , wanted to reach their consumers to increase their overall conversation rates.

Clearly, lowering the cost per purchase of their products was a challenge, as the cost varies depending on the source customers come from.

To achieve this, the brand opted for an Instagram Story Ad campaign. Miller Lite launched several IG Stories that would encourage current website customers to purchase through Instagram with a "Shop Now" swipe-up link.

Therefore, instead of finding customers through other channels, Miller Lite focused on getting more sales via Instagram. The brand would promote merch-related content instead of only beers (such as t-shirts, cups, jackets, and more) and target only US adults 21 years and older with beer interests.

The Story featured interesting products on a white background. As simple as this sounds , focusing on the product only is a great creative Instagram pro-tip for brands that want to drive sales as their main objective.

Key Takeaways:

  • By showing their product variety, Miller Lite experienced a 65% increase in incremental sales of Miller Lite branded merchandise only through Instagram Stories;
  • Conversion-wise, the campaign was a success: the company obtained an 87% increase in purchase conversions, a 2.5x increase in add-to-cart conversions, and a 3.8x increase in incremental view content conversions;
  • Miller Lite proved that, sometimes , keeping things simple in Instagram Stories is the best way to reach certain audiences - instead of focusing on a catchy background score or highly-elaborated content, Miller focused on showing their products as simply as possible.

7. Huuuge Games - Drive More App Installs with Instagram Stories

Huuuge Games, a mobile game app developer, had already used Instagram to show some of its best games to a young, highly engaged audience.

This time, they wanted to reduce the cost per install by making click-worthy Instagram ads through Stories.

The concept was simple: create an Instagram Story featuring their newest game and add a "Play Game" button for users to quickly jump into the action.

The company was stunned when the results came in - it turns out that ads on Instagram Stories outperformed all other ad formats that had been previously used by Huuuge Games.

Key Takeaways:

  • Huuuge Games experienced a decrease in cost per app install by around 24% , which equals a lower cost per registration than expected for both Android and iOS users;
  • Out of all the users who decided to download the game via Story ads, 91% of them paid to engage in virtual casino activities;
  • The brand experienced a 61% higher return in ad spend if compared to other ad channels, which shows us how effective Instagram Stories can be in attracting and driving more app installs.

8. Clinique - Multiple Stories with Multiple Purposes

Clinique, a famous cosmetic brand, decided to go with the creation of eye-catching multi-story Instagram story ads.

Combining high-quality product images with unique individuals was the goal of Clinique . The brand not only wanted users to see their new products, but they also wanted them to relate the featured products to unique individuals.

The combination of product footage with each Clinique's woman would deliver a people-first Instagram Story ad. Clinique targeted this campaign to women in the US aged 35 and older , as they believed that it would be easier for this audience sector to feel more related to this content.

Key Takeaways:

  • Clinique achieved a 5.2-point lift in action intent, specifically within the key age demographic of US women aged 45 and older, just as the brand expected;
  • By creating a relationship between women and products, the brand managed to obtain an increase in product page awareness of 2 points, which provided better results than only product-focused ads;
  • The campaign obtained a 4.4-point lift in brand awareness through people-focused ads, which demonstrates that speaking closely to a certain audience through Stories can be better than creating broader sponsored content.

9. Tabalat - IG Story Ads for Conversions

Tabalat, an online delivery company that turned into the largest food delivery platform in the Middle East, wanted to make the best out of the most innovative Meta technologies.

M eta offers two of the best content delivery platforms around: Facebook and Instagram. Appearing on the Facebook News Feed and Instagram at the same time could provide Tabalat with a cheap delivery of ads, which was their main goal.

Moreover, Tabalat created a small yet highly engaging augmented reality game , which users could access by checking their Instagram Story ads.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tabalat proved that AG ads combined with IG stories are highly effective - by tapping the Try in Camera button, users could further interact with the Tabalat platform, which resulted in more app installs;
  • The brand experienced a 5% lower cost per add-to-cart event from users who engaged with the AR game created with Meta technologies;
  • Furthermore, Tabalat achieved a 13% lower cost per first order via the app and an 11% lower cost per app install by combining augmented reality ads with Instagram Story ads.

10. HiSmile - Compelling Video Ads Combined with Instagram Stories

HiSmile is a teeth whitening company that was having a big problem online: it was difficult for the brand to get more male customers.

The solution to increasing their male audience was to create a fast-paced video featuring Conor McGregor, a popular mixed martial fighter popular among men of all ages.

Using the right equipment for video shot and having an original idea is the key to creating an engaging video, but identifying the interests of their audience was the breaking point of success for this creative campaign.

Key Takeaways:

  • By integrating celebrities known by their target audience in IG stories, HiSmile managed to get 90% more male customers;
  • HiSmile experienced a 5x return on ad spend , indicating the campaign's financial effectiveness;
  • The Story Ad Campaign on Instagram reached a substantial audience of 14 million individuals aged 18 to 24, which created significant brand exposure and awareness.

Summary: Top 10 Best Instagram Ad Story Campaign Examples

Using Instagram Story ads in your marketing efforts is a feasible option , but only if we learn from the best.

After analyzing these campaigns, there are a few key points to take into consideration:

  • Story Design Matters: Whether you have a design team or use other tools to create the ad creative, it is worth noting that having a digital marketing design strategy is an important step toward success. Remember that Instagram Stories are meant to be visually attractive - design ads that resonate with your audience will bring the desired results;
  • Combining Meta Technologies: Meta, the company that owns Instagram and Facebook, allows advertisers to combine multiple technologies into a single ad campaign - don't sleep on these features as they might be the key to further success;
  • Think About the Audience: Different types of IG Stories work for multiple types of audiences. Identify the needs, pain points, and desires of your targeted audience before launching an IG Story ad campaign for more effectiveness.


Are Instagram Story Ads Better than Video Ads?

It depends - a study by Rival IQ shows us how combining video ad examples with photos on Instagram Stories can help us achieve higher engagement rates than using just a form of video content. The combination of video carousels on Stories tends to deliver a post-reach rate of around 20% , whereas using only 15-second videos (or longer) tends to deliver a post-reach of only 13%.

What's the Best Format for Instagram Ad Stories?

Instagram Story Ads tend to have the same specs as Reels or video ads (but with shorter times). There are two ads size options: file size 30 MB for images, and up to 4 GB for videos . Moreover, the file type should be .jpg and .png for images, or .mov and .mp4 for stories . Don't forget to add a bio link to your profile and focus on other design elements, such as sound effects, background color, background music, and more.