Last week, Instagram and Omnicom Group agreed to a $40 million advertising contract, reinvigorating excitement about the marketing potential of mobile and social media. Facebook-owned Instagram is expected to roll out a number of static promos, as well as video ads as a part of the partnership. Omnicom, a major holding company, has a roster of big-name (and big-budget) advertisers, including Nissan, AT&T, Pepsi, and Bud Light. Ultimately, Omnicom is looking to establish a strong relationship with the growing mobile-social platform that now counts 150 million active users.
Instagram only started displaying ads last November, with brands such as Michael Kors and Ben & Jerry’s testing the waters. With the recent Omnicom partnership, Instagram is guaranteed significant advertising dollars, which is viewed by many as a major accomplishment for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who purchased the app for around $1 billion two years ago. While many users, including myself, worry that their Instagram feeds will be overrun by useless advertisements, Instagram is assuring its users that it will continue to see a limited number of high-quality videos and photos from select brands who already have a presence on Instagram. Instagram will remain in creative control of its advertising partnerships, and will only allow advertisements from brands that pass as worthy creative partners.
I believe that Omnicom and Instagram’s partnership is only the beginning in the new wave of mobile advertising. Younger audiences are becoming increasingly aware of lackluster advertising, hence Instagram pitting their supposed benefits against Twitter, where users can quickly scroll past Promoted Tweets. Instagram provides a creative platform in which advertisers and consumers can interact with one another. On Instagram alone, 16 billion images have been shared, 55 million photos are added every day, and 1.2 billion likes happen daily, a level of consumer engagement that has yet to be reached by most social media platforms. Ultimately, I applaud Instagram’s decision to remain in creative control of their advertisements. So long as the seamlessly visual site does not become overrun with advertisers, I foresee a multitude of advertisers finding success on the platform. While Omnicom’s clients will be forced to re-think their creative strategies, ultimately, high-quality content will prevail.