Here's How Ad Agencies Are Failing On Instagram

ad agency instagram

Photo: Instagram

Although brands have begun to get a handle on cool and visually exciting ways to use Instagram, it seems like advertising agencies themselves are still in the dark about utilising the photo networking service to their advantage.

Click here to see the Instagram accounts>
Tribal DDB Israel made waves when it launched a “fully functioning” website on Instagram that has users navigate the site with hashtags like #clients and #tdilpeople. The site, living under the name TribalDDB_Israel, isn’t exclusively located on Instagram: It’s also supported on Statigram and the Tribal DDB’s global website.

When perusing through the agency’s requisite Instagrams of food porn and hipster creatives smoking cigarettes, we wondered how other shops’ Instagram activity compared. Although agencies are usually the first ones to embrace new forms of social media—in fact, they’re often the only ones noticing what brands do on them—they are basically nonexistent on Instagram.

Sure, some creative execs have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags are often used to chronicle events, like the alcohol-infused debauchery of Cannes, but we were surprised by agencies’ Instagram inactivity when it comes to official accounts that could be used to aggregate photos of award ceremonies, creative work, and behind-the-scenes looks at shoots.

In January 2011, Razorfish claimed to be the first agency to create an official Instagram account, producing interesting and at times hilarious pictures like the one below.

Boasting a mere 139 photos and 343 followers, the account hasn't been updated in the last 55 weeks.

While the official account is in hibernation, Instagrammers can find photos of Razorfish when searching for the agency as a tag or location.

In fact, very few agencies have an official Instagram account. Some top shops that do, barely use them.

Here's the one photo from the Deutsch LA account. This is the agency behind the VW Darth Vader and dog chorus ads ... think of the wasted potential!

And here's the one image Instagrammed by Arnold Worldwide's account.

But at least these agencies are doing something right: Reserving the name for later use. (This woman scooped up the name McDonald's for her personal Pinterest page before the fast food chain had the chance.)

When an agency doesn't have a main account, relevant information must be found via hashtag searches or looking based on location. There were hoards of agency photos tagged during Cannes, for example.

But hashtag searches are unreliable for people who only want to see an agency's work. Here's what you're likely to find when looking up Arnold.

When searching under the hashtag #BBH (for Bartle Bogle Hegarty), users are bombarded with photos of bible verses. Looks like BBH also stands for Baptist Bible Hour.

Then there are these photos that a group of Swedish DJ/producers have tagged #BBH.

But not all agencies are Instagram un-savvy. TBWA Istanbul provides regular updates.

JWT Spain features behind-the-scene peeks at photo shoots.

OgilvyWW shows the Instagram community cool features around the office.

With only 501 followers, @OgilvyWW would fare better if it posted more photos. It has only Instagrammed 36 pictures.

The key to having an Instagram that people want to follow is updating it regularly. TBWA's main account hasn't posted a picture in the three weeks since Cannes occurred.

Saatchi & Saatchi LA has 726 followers but only 61 photos. The shop has only posted twice since documenting its Mariachi band that played months ago during SXSW.

Agencies should start turning to their employees for advice on Instagram etiquette. DraftFCB intern Ashley Oritz, for example, regularly documents her daily hot chocolate at her three-monitor desk setup.

And CP+B creative director Matthew Katz could give his agency style tips.

Instagram has just gotten started, so it's about time that agencies figure out how it works before they get left behind.

Interestingly enough, agencies have done good work when it comes to clients' Instagram feeds.

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