Instagram will start showing ads in the Instagram feeds of people in Australia from today.
The social photos app has announced that sponsored photos and videos will appear in the main feed and be clearly marked with a sponsored label – but they will look similar to other photos and videos users will see in their feed. Instagram insists users will retain the ultimate control. If they see an ad they don’t like, they’ll be able to hide it and provide feedback about what didn’t feel right.
Amy Cole, market operations, Instagram said: “Images are fast becoming a primary way that people communicate – in both the everyday and the spectacular. Our aim is to help brands create beautiful ads that feel as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos people already share and enjoy.”
The move is, according to the company, part of making Instagram into a “sustainable business”.
From today, the Instagram community in Australia will gradually see ads appear from a handful brands including Tourism Queensland, Vegemite, Ben & Jerry’s, Toyota, Flight Centre, Audi, Lenovo, McDonald’s and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
Instagram has already seen brands approach advertising in innovative and creative ways since the US launch in September 2013. These brands include: Burberry, Ben & Jerry’s, Levi’s, Lexus, Adidas, McDonald’s, Disney, Mercedes, Samsung, Covergirl and Coca Cola. The recent launch in UK this month includes brands: Starbucks, Cadbury, Channel 4, Rimmel London, Sony Music, Estée Lauder and Waitrose.
The first Australian Instagram Ads partners – including Tourism Queensland, Ben & Jerry’s, Vegemite, Flight Centre, Audi and Toyota – commented on today’s launch.
Chris Chambers, director digital marketing, Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) said: “This partnership with Instagram is an opportunity for Tourism and Events Queensland to expand its digital reach and influence the travel decisions made by Instagram’s millions of active users. Instagram is the perfect platform to showcase Queensland’s holiday credentials, allowing fans to share authentic images in real time and advocate why Queensland is Where Australia Shines.”
Kalli Swaik, Ben & Jerry’s Brand Champion said: “Ben & Jerry’s and Instagram have long been friends. It’s been the perfect platform to roll out our unique brand of Ben & Jerry’s humour to Australia and share the colour and excitement of our product and social mission news with our fans and beyond. A platform that celebrates all things visual and a vibrant brand like ours are a match made in heaven. We’re now excited to take this to a new level as one of the very first brands to advertise on Instagram in Australia. It gives the brand more visibility and relevance across the country and helps us share the peace, love and ice cream with our passionate fans in an unmistakably Ben & Jerry’s way.”
Keith Stanley, Head of Customer Experience, Flight Centre said: “Flight Centre’s mantra is to open up the world to those who want to see it. Instagram is a wonderful avenue for us to engage with a community of passionate and aspiring travellers so we are very excited to be a part of this Australian-first.”
Darren O’Brien, president cheese and grocery Asia Pacific, Mondelez International said: “There’s no denying that social is part of the media ecosystem and if that’s where our loyalists are consuming content, brand participation is a natural extension of this. The Vegemite partnership with Instagram is an organic evolution of our approach to media – innovative and authentic – recognizing that this medium is at the forefront of driving brand engagement. We are delighted to have been chosen by Instagram to take part in the launch of their new advertising platform and look forward to releasing our creative.”
Kathryn Willmott, business director across the Mondelez Foods portfolio, Carat said: “Carat, together with Vegemite and Philadelphia, have worked in close collaboration with Instagram and have been deeply involved with all aspects of campaign planning, including the creative development. Partnering with Instagram on this first to market initiative has been the perfect platform for these innovative brands.”