By Megan Zielinski, contributing writer
As the holiday season arrives, Banana Republic is rolling-out 15 second, content-rich video advertisements through Instagram, connecting to the brand’s female millennial customers. Instagram users can expect to see the short videos appear on their newsfeeds.
Banana Republic is among the first of leading companies along with Lancome, Disney, Cosmopolitian, and Activision to incorporate Instagram videos as a way to interact with consumers. Jonathan Anastas, head of digital and social media at Activision stated, "Our audience is becoming increasingly mobile-centric, and Instagram is a mobile-centric platform. So it's an important part of the marketing mix."
Instead of using traditional, often deterring pushy sales ads, the Banana Republic ads are created in a manner that focuses on brand awareness to captivate consumer interest. The video ads must meet criteria according to Instagram standards, consisting of fresh, new material that engages with viewers.
The first ad to be released by Banana Republic includes a behind-the-scenes peek at a designer forming a sketch of one of the brand’s newest fashion ensembles for the holiday season. Using Hyperlapse, a time-lapse video feature integrated into the Instagram app, the technology allows for videos to be filmed up to six times faster than normal speed while content is in motion—creating clear, detailed videos at the convenience of a tap on the smartphone. Banana Republic’s new ad invites viewers to get a first-hand look at how their trendy fashions are brought to life. The ads are specifically directed toward women, between the ages of 18-29 years old—the latest statistics reveal that up to 68 percent of Instagram users are females, with the millennial generation using the social site more than any other group at 37 percent.
Instagram is becoming an increasingly popular social media channel for consumers and brands alike. Nearly 93 percent of 249 analyzed reputable brands have adopted Instagram, up from 63 percent reported in July of last year. Retail and fashion brands are the most-likely of industries to market through Instagram. Instagram engagement is 15 times greater when compared to marketing on Facebook—making it easy for brands to communicate with consumers daily. Launching influential video advertisements is a step-up from photo ads—placing Banana Republic a giant step ahead of its competitors.