Instagram Announces Reels Ads: What You Need To Know

Ever since Instagram Reels were announced in August 2020, many in the advertising industry have been eagerly awaiting the format’s application as an ad format. As of last week, this wait is over, with Instagram rolling out Reels ads to all regions off the back of successful testing in a selection of countries.

So, now that they’re here, let’s briefly explore Instagram Reels ads to understand what they are, what benefit they will have for advertisers, as well as some initial creative considerations/thought starters.  


What are Instagram reels ads? 

Instagram Reels ads are embedded within Reels feeds, appearing amongst organic content. 

Reels ads have a duration of up to 30-seconds, should utilize full-screen vertical video dimensions, and feature impactful music/sound-effects as it is a sound-on placement. 

Like organic Reels videos, audiences will be able to like, comment on, share, save, and skip Reels ads.

Source: Instagram


Why should brands consider adopting the format? 

First and foremost, Reels ads will enable you to reach greater numbers of viewers on Instagram. The full-screen, immersive, experimental, short-form Reels format has proven to be extremely popular amongst Instagram users, making it a great opportunity for brands to communicate with these tuned-in viewers

If approached with the right creative mindset, the nature of the Reels format will enable you to have more authentic, meaningful conversations with your target audience. However, as mentioned this will be dependent upon your creative, and whether it is designed in a way that is suitable for the format. Let’s explore this further with some initial discussions around creative considerations for Reels ads.

It is however important to acknowledge that although we can make a number of creative recommendations for Reels ads, it is still a new format, and in the coming months we will develop deeper insight into what works and what doesn’t. 


How to approach Reels ads creative? 

The first thing to note is that when developing a Reels ads campaign, you will have six options for campaign objectives in your ads manager to choose from: Conversions, Reach, Traffic, Video Views, Brand Awareness, and App Installs. Whichever objective you choose should influence the creative direction of your Reels ads. 

Related to your choice of campaign objective is the call to action (CTA) button that appears on the Reels ads interface. Unlike Stories ads, where ads encourage audiences through visual cues to swipe-up to take action, your Reels creatives should direct attention towards the customizable CTA button at the bottom of the screen.  

The last—and perhaps most important—creative consideration to mention regarding Reels ads is the need to align your video style to suit what is playing out organically within Reels feeds. Your creatives will perform best if it adds to a user’s experience rather than interrupting it.

To do this, you first need to have an understanding of the video trends playing out organically. By drawing upon these insights within your creative treatments, your ads will be more relevant to your audience—which will in turn, help to drive engagement. 

The Reels feed is a space where fun, experimental, short-form video is flourishing. Your creatives should embrace this and add to it—tap into existing trends, and create new ones



Instagram Reels ads are an exciting new addition to Facebook’s advertising solutions. It is a format which will enable you to reach high numbers of tuned-in audiences and achieve campaign objectives at each level of the funnel. 

From a creative perspective, we will all be learning a lot about the format over the coming months. That being said, hopefully this article gives you a solid initial understanding of how to approach Reels ads.

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