Looking for the best Instagram story ad examples?

We’ve done all the hard work for you, spending the past few weeks browsing around Instagram. And we found some inspiring stuff… 💎

This article features the following categories of Instagram stories:

  • Bad examples of Instagram stories
  • Good examples of Instagram story image ads
  • The best Instagram story video ads
  • Cool Instagram story examples

But first, a few words on the current state of advertising Instagram stories.

When scrolling through the IG stories to catch cool ad examples, 80% of all the ads were not optimized for the Instagram Story placement

This means that a lot of brands are missing out on the full potential of the IG stories ad placement

What about you?

Have you uploaded all the correct Instagram and Facebook ads size options to your campaigns? And is each of the uploaded formats following the specific placement’s best practices?

Either way, this article will give you plenty of good ideas on how to improve your Instagram story ads. On top of that, you’ll also see some nice examples of Instagram story posts by popular brands.

See more ad examples here:

Quick tip: Create Meta ad creatives with AI tools.

Click on the GIF below to try the best AI tool for Meta ads generation. (2023 update & recommendation.)

ad creatives with ai

Bad Instagram ad examples

Let’s start off by understanding how your Instagram ads should not look.

The following examples of the ads running in the Instagram stories use the old Facebook news feed image size (1200 x 628 pixels), others feature a square image with no copy nor clear call-to-action.

This is not to trash any particular brand’s ads.

The goal is to show you examples of ads that could be improved big-time, so that you can better asses your own Instagram (and Facebook) story ads.

bad instagram story ad examples

Here’s a quick checklist to analyze if your story ads follow the key best practices:

  • Are the ads in the correct size (1080 x 1920 pixels)?
  • Do the ads have in-image copy and a call-to-action?
  • Are you asking the viewer to swipe up – verbally or visually?

Good examples of Instagram story image ads

In general, video ads work better on Instagram than static image ads. 

However, there’s not always time and resources to create a video ad for every single campaign.

That’s ok – there’s also plenty of good examples of IG stories using a static image that are working well. You will see them up next.

#1 Bloomberg

This Instagram story ad example by Bloomberg Businessweek is great for several reasons:

  • It has a bright background color that differentiates it from the regular posts from friends
  • The text and illustration are placed almost perfectly (the text above could be slightly lower not to be covered by the logo and “sponsored” message)
  • It has a clear call-to-action (Subscribe)
Bloomberg Instagram story ad example

#2 Bolt Food

The Bolt food Instagram story example is also visually different from the regular Instagram stories. (I consider it a big success factor when it comes to getting your story ads noticed.)

It’s also clear what the ad is about from the first glance: food, delivery.

On top of that, it mentions the value proposition (cheap delivery) and hints that people are supposed to “swipe up.”

Bolt Food Instagram story ad example

#3 Babbel

Babbel’s ad asks the viewer a question which makes you automatically engage with the ad. Once you answer “yes,” you’ll have enough time to explore the rest of the ad. 

Also, notice the layout of this ad – by mixing a solid color background and stock image background, the ad is split into 2 scenes.

Tip: Splitting your Instagram story ad visuals into 2 or 3 parts is a very convenient hack in case you don’t have a suitable portrait-format image.

Babbel Instagram ad example

#4 Udemy

This Udemy ad is a basic example of a Facebook ad visual adapted to Instagram Stories format.

You can use a similar approach of placing part of your Facebook ad copy in the Instagram story ad image to deliver the message.

Udemy Instagram story ad example

#5 Fjällräven

A very simple Instagram story ad that showcases the products in a well-curated portrait format.

Tip: When adding copy to your Instagram story ad creatives, place it on top or in the middle – that’s the part of the ad people will look in the first place.

Fjallraven Instagram story ad example

#6 Acadium

Here’s one good example of a square-format ad used in the Instagram story placement.

The ad image features relevant copy and the background color (added automatically by Facebook when you use an ad image in 1:1 or in landscape format) complements the above image.

Acadium Instagram story image ad example

#7 Khaite

Khaite Instagram story ad example

#8 Dale Ventures

Best instagram story ads

#9 The Economist

The Economist Instagram story image ad example

#10 The Sill

Instagram story ad example

The best Instagram story video ad examples

Instagram story video ads is a great channel both for building brand awareness and engaging with existing customers.

In case you’lll get inspired by the upcoming video ad example, here’s a list of Instagram ad specs & sizes to follow.

Tip: According to Facebook, 60% of Instagram stories are viewed with sound-on, so add some background music to your video ads.

Read more about various Instagram story ad success stories here.

Instagram story ad examples 2020

Let’s get to the best part of this article now – the Instagram story video ad examples.

❗❗❗NB: Due to the big size of GIF files, we have included a static image of each video ad and added a link to the GIF file, so that you can see the video.

#11 Deliveroo

This Instagram story ad is a good example of brand awareness advertising.

Here’s what makes this ad great:

  • The colors – branded and differentiated from the regular story posts
  • Custom text design that has has a high contrast with the background
  • Fast-paced movement – you won’t get bored and swipe right

Tip: If you want people to swipe up after seeing your video, add a 3-5 second ending scene to your video ad with your logo and a clear call-to-action.

See the full video ad here.

Deliveroo Instagram Story ad

#12 iDeal

The iDeal ad is a cool example of an Instagram story video ad split into 2 scenes

The first part of the ad is almost static and features the product and special offer message, The second part of the ad shows a fast-paced video that keeps the viewer engaged.

See the full video ad here.

iDeal Instagram Story ad

#13, #14 AirBaltic

airBaltic likes to get their messages delivered.

If you won’t get their static image Instagram story ad (which is already a very good example of a brightly-colored ad with a clear message) …

Airbaltic Instagram story ad example

Then you will certainly get the message after seeing their video ad. 🔥

Notice how fast-paced the ad is: a must-have for all Instagram story ads. Also, the font, colors, and content is different enough to keep on looking to the end.

The ad’s final scene has a green arrow icon pointing up that helps to emphasize the “swipe up” suggestion.

See the full video ad here.

airbaltic instagram story ad example

#15 Netflix

The main thing I like about this Netflix Instagram story ad example is its plain promotion of the logo.

The ultimate brand awareness ad.

See the full video ad here.

netflix instagram story ad example

#16 Acne Studios

If you’re lacking good video content to turn into Instagram ads, you can follow the example of Acne Studios. 

The below ad example essentially mixes together a range of product photos and solid typographical elements, creating an engaging video ad.

See the full video ad here.

acne studios instagram story

#17 Artsy

Here’s another example of an Instagram story ad that uses images and typography, but has the effect of a video ad. 

Also, the black text on a white background contrasts perfectly with other posts that you’re scrolling through when browsing stories.

See the full video ad here.

artsy instagram story example

#18 Milkshake

Here’s a list of things that the Milkshake ad gets right:

  • Fast movement throughout the video
  • Bright colors and well-placed copy
  • The app frame (shows immediately it’s a mobile app)
  • Logical storytelling throughout the ad
  • Final scenes with a solid background and a clear call-to-action

See the full video ad here.

milkshake instagram story ad example

#19 Calm

Calm’s Instagram story asks the viewer to take a break (from anxiously scrolling through tens of stories).

That’s a very cool approach as their meditation app’s key benefit is learning to slow down and be more mindful. And that feeling is already created by their ad, making the perfect introduction to the app.

See the full video ad here.

calm video ad

Meta ads x AI tools: Save 10x time

Have you tried creating Meta ads with AI tools? We tested uploading a few lines of text, a logo, and an image. And look what we got: 50+ different ad layouts in 60 seconds. Try it here.

#20 H&M

The H&M Instagram story ad is the perfect example of brand awareness videos run by many large consumer brands.

The goal of such ads is generally to stay top-of-mind for a large audience.

The best practice with such ads is to open up by showcasing your logo, show well-filmed scenes in between, and also close the ad by repeating your brand’s name or showing the logo.

See the full video ad here.

hm video ad example

#21 Slidequest

See the full video ad here.

slidequest instagram story ad

#22 Harvard Business Review

See the full video ad here.

hbr instagram story ad

#23 Prequel

See the full video ad here.

prequel instagram story ad

#24 Favro

See the full video ad here.

favro instagram story ad

#25, #26 KLM

See the full video ad here.

klm instagram story ad example

See the full video ad here.

klm instagram story ad example 2

#27 Udacity

See the full video ad here.

best instagram story examples

#28 Xoom

See the full video ad here.

paypal instagram story example

#29 Vivo

See the full video ad here.

barefoot shoes instagram story ad

#30 Vogue Business

See the full video ad here.

Vogue Business IG story ad

#31 Biteable

See the full video ad here.

biteable instagram story ad example

#32 Turkish Airlines

See the full video ad here.

Turkish airlines instagram ad

#33 Bolt

See the full video ad here.

bolt instagram story ad

#34 Cowboy

See the full video ad here.

cowboy instagram story ad

#35 The New Yorker

See the full video ad here.

new yorker instagram story example

Cool Instagram story post ideas

Last not least, I’ve come across some exceptionally nice branded Instagram stories.

Instagram story examples 2020

Take a look and collect ideas for using various Instagram story stickers and polling options to engage with your followers. 

#36 Uber

See the full video here.

uber instagram example

#37 Jump

See the full video here.

uber jump instagram story

#38 Airbnb

See the full video here.

airbnb instagram story

#39 MeetFrank

See the full video here.

meetfrank instagram post example

#40 Starbucks

See the full video here.

starbucks instagram story

Thanks for your attention and hope you got some inspiration to put into practice.

If you know some other brands with cool Instagram story ads, send a hat tip to marketing@karolakarlson.com or reach out on LinkedIn.

And if you want help with improving your Instagram ad campaigns, check out this page.