Happy hours and museum tours: How ad agencies are using Instagram Stories

Agencies love to hop on to a fad, so it was perhaps inevitable that they would make their way to Instagram Stories.

Barely three days after Instagram debuted its Snapchat-esque Stories feature, agencies of all shapes and sizes have jumped on the platform to show their creative prowess. They’re showcasing everything from happy hours to behind-the-scenes footage and even tutorials. And since the stories, disappear, there’s not much risk.

Here’s how seven agencies made their debuts on Instagram Stories:

IMG_2005Huge’s Instagram story was an ode to the Rio Olympics, which kick started on Friday. It enlisted a product designer from its Rio de Janeiro office to take over its Instagram account, and capture the sights around the city in the lead-up to the Olympics opening ceremony. Ze Felipe, who has over 114,000 Instagram followers himself, took viewers on a visual tour of the Rio neighborhoods of São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca. He also experimented around with with the fonts and speeds for the videos. “Instagram is the platform we go to when we want to showcase great photography and design from Huge and friends of Huge,” said Fern Diaz, senior communications manager of community development and special projects at Huge.

Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners
Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners took its viewers on a behind-the-scenes tour of The Franklin Institute, a science museum in Philadelphia, where it was doing a night shoot for a client. The agency’s Instagram story had sneak peeks of some of the museum’s most celebrated exhibits, including the skeleton on the elliptical. The agency plans to use the section for its employee spotlight series called the “#CowboyTakeover” in the future.

Razorfish sees the opportunity to recruit through Stories. “The new Stories feature gives us a new platform to highlight our diverse talent, offices and work in a visually exciting way,” said Tammy Pepito, senior director of social media at Razorfish. Razorfish’s first story captured the characteristic laid back Summer Friday vibe at agencies from its Chicago office. It showed employees making coffee, playing Pac Man and huddling around food in its cafeteria.

Mekanism took a very meta approach, and decided to use Instagram Stories to do an entire explainer on Instagram Stories itself. Its first story was titled “What’s the deal with Instagram Stories,” where it took a fun and whimsy approach to explain the differences between Instagram and Snapchat stories. Mekanism explained how, unlike Snapchat, you don’t need a phone number for Instagram — and its employees even put up a choreographed dance on Drake’s famous song “Hotline Bling” to go along with it.

GSD&M Austin
GSD&M’s first story was also a behind-the-scenes look into a shoot as well as the edit bay. In the future, it hopes to continue to highlight internships and job openings, take agency followers behind the scenes of GSD&M life and work and cover agency events in a fun way. Caitlin McDaniel, senior social media manager at GSD&M foresees videos dominating Instagram stories, as “it allows us to humanize the agency and lend the personalities that work here to the brand, which will be powerful in recruiting.”

Instagram has always been Greenlight’s primary tool for culture-related content, said Brittney Stephens, social media strategist at the agency. So it was a no-brainer for the shop to jump on board with Instagram Stories. The agency plans to use the format to highlight its creative process, agency traditions (like a monthly beer run challenge) and social hour outside its offices. “This new feature is a marketer’s dream, and as our audience likes what we’re doing, we’ll keep doing it,” she said.


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