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How Instagram Changed Advertising

Have you noticed how so many brands look the same and are following the same design conventions? So called “lifestyle” brands market their products in a very similar format: A high resolution photo of the product with no text placed against a simple background (usually a solid color) that offers high contrast. The reason that this style of advertising is so popular is due to Instagram’s image heavy format. On Instagram the image is the central content. Text is relegated to captions and not usually placed on top of a photo. The reason for this is because studies have shown that millennials value authenticity in their brands. Advertisers have shifted to appear more authentic by making their advertisement content appear similar to the type of content that that their friends and influencers would post. The line is often blurred as we can see below.

Honda’s advertisement looks like something an influencer would post. The emphasis and content are virtually identical. If a user is scrolling, there is a chance that they would not be able to distinguish between the sponsored post and the influencer post who they might already follow. Advertisement is constantly evolving, and it is up to PR companies to understand the current climate and advertise accordingly. Instagram offers a platform that is an advertisers dream.

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