DTC 377: Multi Advertiser Ads

🤷 Is more always better?

Instagram has introduced a new ad format called Multi-Advertiser Ads, and people are unquestionably divided on whether or not this is a step in the right direction. 🤔

Multi-Advertiser Ads consist of a break in the Reels feed to show up to four ad placements for the user to engage with.


Since this ad format is a unique approach to the conventional side-scrolling carousel of ads we’ve seen in the past, marketers need to consider a fresh approach when designing creatives for the Multi-Advertiser format. 

Let’s dig into what makes this ad format especially challenging for small to medium-sized brands and what teams can do to combat those challenges. 

⚡ Visual noise

It’s so easy for mobile users to get overwhelmed with information when viewing a single ad. 

The likelihood of a user being deterred from engaging with your ad among three other competing ads is far greater simply because of the information overload. 😵‍💫

Marketers and designers need to craft bold, simple, eye-catching ads to serve as a focal point within the visual noise. This lets the consumer’s eyes rest and absorb your content without squinting. 

Use only one or two bold colors with an accessible font so that even if the viewer isn’t interested in your product right now, they can understand what you’re telling them without being deterred by ubiquitous visual noise.

Even without a sale, having users read and understand your ad is a far more positive impression than having them not read your ad at all. 

🤝 Brand association

Unlike most other ad formats, Multi-Advertiser Ads force you to share screen space with brands you may have never heard of. While your “colleagues” are algorithmically selected, an element of unpredictability will always remain.

Meta has supposedly designed Multi-Advertiser Ads to display similar or related products in the same grid, but it’s hard to believe this is a perfect science. 🧑‍🔬

Just in case, it’s best to accept that there will be situations where your brand has been mistakenly grouped with unrelated brands and products.

There is no way to counter this unpredictable curation process. However, using simple and bold designs, as we previously discussed, will help users understand who your brand is rather than dismissing your offer because you’re paired with brands they aren’t interested in.

🤗 Shared elements

All four ads in the shared space use the same button for the call-to-action (CTA). Designers must compensate for this by avoiding light gray near the bottom of their ads. 

Users may not be able to find the button otherwise! 

Design your ads to ensure your CTA pops from the screen with a complimentary color or design assets that guide the user’s eye to the button, like an arrow or even a simple 👇 emoji. 

🤔 Reservations

Initial reports are correct to assume that increased exposure and lower cost serve as the main value in Multi-Advertiser Ads, but this format comes with many caveats. 

While potentially more accessible, it presents new challenges that aren’t as prevalent in conventional digital marketing strategies and may throw your brand a curveball into predictable ad performance.

Encourage further iterations on existing creatives to nail down the most effective design strategy for this emerging format. 

Have you seen these ads on your feed yet? Will you opt out of the feature entirely? Let us know in a reply!

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