Instagram Influencer Marketing

12 Examples of Brands Using Instagram Reels Fabulously

How are brands using Instagram Reels to win customers? Check out our list of Reels examples and get inspired to level up your own social video strategy.

brands using instagram reels cover photo

Looking for examples of brands using Instagram Reels? You’ve come to the right place!

Because brands are constantly coming up with new ways to engage customers with Reels’ bite-sized videos.

Jump-cuts and slideshows. How-tos and tutorials. Stop-motion storytelling.

And that doesn't even scratch the surface of what brands can do with short-form video.

ritual instagram reel example

Source: @ritual

Now among Instagram’s most popular features, companies big and small are scrambling to find creative ideas for Reels. If you’re eager to do the same, we’ve got plenty of inspiration to help. 

Below are twelve A+ Instagram Reels examples from brands and tips for creating your own.

How Are Brands Using Instagram Reels, Anyway?

It’s no secret that bite-sized video has taken over social media.

Fact: 89% of marketers are increasing or maintaining their investment in short-form social videos in 2022.

Instagram has pushed Reels hard since the feature launch two years ago. Brands were skeptical of the format back then, partially due to its similarities to TikTok.

But fast forward to the present and Reels are impossible to miss. 

From the “Explore” page to your main feed, brands today rely on Reels to reach their target audiences. The current Instagram algorithm can’t seem to get enough of ‘em.

instagram reels in feed example

Source: @peaceoutskincare

Thing is, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach for brands using Reels.

Some brands have replaced their old In-Feed video content with Reels. Others use Reels as a space to promote TikTok-style videos with trending audio.

Here’s a snapshot of how we’re seeing most brands engage followers:

  • Showcasing new products 
  • Building brand identity and authenticity
  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Product tutorials
  • Q&As
  • Announcements and reminders
  • Promoting user-generated content

Regardless of how you use it, short-form video is a promotional powerhouse for brands.

For example, Reels and TikToks are among the most popular ad formats for creators. Maybe that’s why Instagram Reels for fashion brands are dominating sponsored posts right now.

instagram reels ad example

Source: Instagram

But let’s say you’re not 100% sure about IG Reels or don’t know what to do with the format.

You have up to 90 seconds to work with — so what’s the best way to engage your audience? What should you film? Which types of videos earn the most views and interactions?

To answer all of these questions (and more), we put together the list below.

12 Instagram Reels Examples (+ Tips for Brands Using Reels)

With Instagram’s latest algorithm prioritizing original content, Reels should be a go-to content format for brands.

Whether you’re new to short-form video or just need some fresh ideas, we’ve got you covered. Let’s walk through twelve examples of Instagram Reels and what you can learn from them.

1. Athleta

Fashion Reels like this highlight how brands can squeeze so much out of a short-form video.

Making an announcement to hype up your audience? Check. 

Featuring a creator and branded hashtag to boost engagement? Double-check.

Showing potential customers how to style a product from multiple angles? Yep, that too.

Athleta manages to do all of the above in about twelve seconds. Quick camera cuts and booming bass provide the entertainment value to keep viewers glued to the screen. 

Athleta instagram reel example

Source: @athleta

This Reel is a shining example of how to sell products via video without being “salesy” or in-your-face about it. As an added bonus, jump-cut style video is fair game for brands regardless of your product. 

No equipment or experience editing video? No problem — all you need is your smartphone.

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

  • Include people (creators, employees) when possible. Food for thought: 36% of marketers plan on using Instagram Reels as part of their creator campaigns. Videos featuring people drive greater engagement and humanize your brand.
  • Show off your products from multiple angles. Product Reels are powerful because bring what you’re selling to life. Close-ups, real-world settings and multiple shots make it easier for people to imagine your product in their hands.
  • Don’t forget to tag your products! Important in Reels for fashion brands, product tagging empowers you to drive more sales directly from Instagram.

2. Drunk Elephant

Reels are a brilliant way to showcase your product’s features and key selling points ASAP. 

Rather than force shoppers to dig through product pages for info, social videos provide instant answers to questions like:

  • “What does this product actually look like?”
  • “Is this right for me?” “How can I use this?”
  • “How do other people use this? How does it work?”

This “show and tell” video from Drunk Elephant is one of our recent favorite examples of Instagram Reels. 

Drunk elephant instagram reel exaple

Source: @drunkelephant

Drunk Elephants bite-sized product Reel answers shoppers’ questions in a matter of seconds. Whether you’re already interested in the product or are seeing it for the first time, this video earns your interest. This shows how Reels can reach people at multiple stages of the customer journey.

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

  • Take advantage of captions. From storytelling to pointing out facts about your products, captions provide context to your videos.
  • Real people sell products. A recent eMarketer survey notes that 62% of shoppers are more likely to buy a product when they see a customer video of it in action.
  • For beauty Reels, feature your physical product and packaging in the frame.

3. Fourth Ray Beauty

Beauty brands are crushing it with Reels.

But makeup and skincare content isn’t as simple as showing off products in action.

Consider how beauty consumers are putting ingredients first during purchasing decisions. Beauty brands must balance educating potential customers about products without overwhelming them.

That’s where Reels come in. 

Fourth Ray Beauty does a brilliant job of informing and engaging viewers at the same time. Colorful and oddly satisfying, this video proves that educational Reels should never be “boring.”

Fourth Ray Beauty reel example

Source: @fourthraybeauty

Short-form, educational videos like this tend to perform well on social media. Consider that “discovering something new” drives content discovery on TikTok. It’s safe to assume similar rules apply to product Reels on Instagram.

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

  • “Did You Know?” videos are great for nurturing current customers and getting the attention of new viewers. 
  • Pay close attention to color schemes! Notice how the colors featured in the captions reflect the products showcased? Subtle touches like his can earn you style points with viewers.
  • You don’t need extensive editing or expensive equipment to create social videos. Most of our examples of Reels look like they were filmed on a smartphone and not in a professional studio. That’s no accident! Reels lends itself to unpolished, off-the-cuff content that feels authentic.

4. Goodr

The increased reach of Reels makes them an awesome avenue for announcements and reminders. This includes:

  • Limited time offers
  • Inventory updates
  • Shipping statuses 

Below is a simple but effective example from Goodr:

Goodr Instagram Reels

Source: @goodr

The company’s voice and sense of humor shine through thanks to the video’s description. This stop-motion style is both popular and budget-friendly for brands using Reels. Creative touches like Goodr’s bright pink color scheme also catch the attention of serial scrollers on Instagram.

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

    • If you don’t feature people in your video, you can still humanize your content with text. Humorous captions are usually a safe bet!
    • Experiment with creative elements like colors to make your Reels pop.
    • Use Reels as an alternative or supplement to static posts for your brand’s announcements.
Instagram Influencer Campaign Manager Spreadsheet

5. Jot

This influencer Reel example from Jot highlights how to produce a short video that captures your brand’s aesthetic.

jot instagram reel example

Source: @jot

Like we said earlier, social video is one of the best ways to bring your products to life. Jot achieves this by letting people, pets and lifestyle scenes serve as the backdrop for their coffee creations.

The creator behind this Reel totally knocked it out of the park, right? When it comes to creative elements and style choices to engage viewers, creators know best.

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

  • Create Reels that capture your aesthetic. Filters, lighting and music are all crucial for creating your vibe.
  • For product Reels, switch up your settings. There’s no rule that says food products should stay in the kitchen. The same applies to beauty tutorials in bathrooms or fashion Reels in front of mirrors.
  • If you’re working with creators, don’t be afraid to give them creative freedom! 

6. Sephora

With over 1.3 million views on this video alone, Sephora reminds us why they’re among the best brands on Instagram Reels. 

Showing off legit results from a #SephoraSquad creator, this video serves as social proof to shoppers. Bonus points for prominently featuring the product packaging, too!

Sephora instagram reel example

Source: @sephora

But what really makes this Reel example effective is the authenticity and vulnerability on display. 

Because most creators would be hesitant to document an acne breakout. 

Totally understandable! That makes the before-and-after format so much more effective, though. 

Beauty products are prime for Reels because buyers want to see firsthand what a product can do for them. Chances are you’ve been underwhelmed by a “must-have” product in the past, right? Sephora acknowledges the power of that pain point and uses this video to remedy it.

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

    • Brainstorm Reel ideas that highlight the positive results of your product(s). Again, before-and-after videos are arguably the best product Reels for beauty brands format-wise.
    • Let creators be themselves. Remember what we said earlier about the power of authenticity and unpolished content? Creators achieve both.
    • Plan some of your Reels in advance! Sure, most of your short-form videos can be off-the-cuff. Formats like before-and-after videos require sticking to a schedule, though. For brands and creators alike, having ample time to plan your videos is a plus.

7. Penguin Books 

Not sure where to start with Reels? Don’t panic. 

When in doubt, just keep it simple. Below is a great example from Penguin Books. 

penguin books instagram reels example

Source: @penguinbooks

This quick-cut slideshow highlights how to create a simple but stylish Reel with little more than customer photos. Featuring followers in your content not only serves as a way to show your customers love but also encourages even more @mentions in the future.

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

  • Simple slideshows are an excellent way to ease into creating social video.
  • Make the most of your existing brand assets and creatives! For example, consider repurposing your user-generated content by transforming it into a Reel.
  • If you are incorporating UGC into Reels, make sure to tag your customers!

8. Sakara Life

“Who wants to watch a video of someone dropping ice cubes into a glass?”

Sure, it’s easy to psyche yourself out or second-guess your Reels for products.

But no matter your business or industry there’s likely an audience for your content ideas. 

Look no further than the 3.5+ million posts on tags like #OddlySatisfying and #Drinkstagram for evidence. Check out the 80k views on this video from Sakara Life (which is also the brand’s most-viewed Reel):

Sakura Life instagram reels

Source: @sakaralife

Experimenting with “unconventional” video ideas can produce unexpectedly positive results. In short, creativity counts on Instagram. 

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

  • Do your homework on the videos your audience is watching. The same goes for what’s trending on hashtags related to your brand.
  • For food and beverage brands, try “oddly satisfying” or ASMR content ideas.
  • Empower creators to do the legwork of coming up with creative product Reels.

9. The Pet Scout Shop

Sure, the Pet Scout Shop does have the advantage of adorable pups to promote their Reels.

But if you’ve got it, flaunt it! 

The brand relies on trendy, TikTok-style content and humor to show off their seasonal dog bandanas. Personality and paws are always front-and-center in keeping the brand’s image up-to-date.

pet scout shop instagram reels

Source: @thepetscoutshop

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

  • Trending audio, memes and humor can encourage greater reach and engagement.
  • We’ll say it again: brand Reels don’t require expert editing! 
  • Reels that take followers “behind the scenes” are a low-hanging way to show off your brand’s personality.

10. Sugarfina

Sugarfina got in on the ground floor of rolling Reels into their creator marketing strategy.

The brand by sharing a new tea collection and promoting their own branded hashtag via micro-influencers. Sugarfina has since partnered with baking creators to show off creative ways to enjoy their confections.

sugarfina instagram reels

Source: @sugarfina

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

  • Partnering with creators can instantly expand your Reels’ visibility. That’s because creators have greater reach than brand accounts.
  • Thematic videos based around holidays serve as a way to experiment with ideas and keep your Reels topical.
  • As noted earlier, the best brand Reels often feature creators.

11. Carly’s Corner

Behind the scenes Reels can create a more personal connection between companies and customers. Not only that but they’re among the easiest brand Reels to make.

When customers see the dedication and effort put into your products, they see a totally different side of your business. Carly’s Corner nails this concept with Reels based around BTS photoshoots.

Created by Carly reels    created by carly reels example

Source: @createdby.carly

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

  • Take your customers “behind the curtain” to get a better sense of your business, values and dedication.
  • Document as much of your day-to-day business as you’re comfortable sharing. Creating behind-the-scenes content is as simple as pulling out your phone for a few minutes.
  • Incorporate more personal, non-promotional content into your Reels calendar

12. Indy Brand Clothing

Instagram Reels is a prime place to cement your brand’s identity.

For example, check out Indy Brand Clothing’s eye-popping Reels that promote nature and simple living. Their products don’t necessarily need to be the center of attention when the amazing landscapes and scenery do the talking. At the same time, viewers get a clear sense of who Indy Brand Clothing is.

indy brand clothing reels

Source: @indybrandclothing

Takeaways for Brands Using Reels

  • For clothing Reels, new and unexpected settings can help your videos shine. Showing off your products “in the wild” means going beyond your doorstep.
  • Reflect on how your choice of music and setting communicate your brand identity.
  • Empower creators to promote your products on their terms.

watch the webinar: how to drive sales with user-generated content in 2022

Bonus Best Practices of Instagram Reels for Brands

To wrap things up, let’s quickly review and recap some last-minute tips for brand Reels.

  • Don’t just dump your TikToks into Reels! Instagram acknowledges that creators are active on both networks but still want Reels content to be unique. Custom descriptions, filters and newer features like product tagging for creators can make your brand’s videos different between TikTok and Instagram.

  • If possible, post frequently to Reels (think: at least two or three times per week). There’s plenty of debate about Reels vs In-Feed posts and their reach. In our experience, Reels in 2022 are seeing higher engagement than usual. Still, the IG algorithm can change at a moment’s notice. Now that you can cross-post Reels to your main feed, there’s no reason not to publish videos to Reels as part of your regular content calendar.

  • Let creators do the work for you! As we’ve said a million times, Instagram creators know what kind of branded content makes people tick. For reference, here’s an Instagram Reel example from our own network.
statusphere creator reel   

Source: @lifestylewithjanelle

The takeaway? Creators can craft stellar sponsored content when given the opportunity and creative freedom. That's because know exactly what to post to delight their followers.

statusphere positive comments on reel

Source: @lifestylewithjanelle

Do Your Brand Reels Need an Upgrade? Creators Can Help!

Reels should be a top priority for any brand looking to win more customers via Instagram.

We hope these Reels examples inspired you to do exactly that. Regardless of your brand or budget, there are plenty of creative Reels you can produce sooner rather than later. 

Want to tap into the expertise of creators that know how to get people talking with branded Reels? Statusphere can help.

We handle the process of vetting, briefing and managing creator relationships from start to finish. With Statusphere’s full-service platform, you can scale interactions and conversations around your brand without doing the heavy lifting yourself. 

Get in touch with one of our consumer-to-consumer marketing experts today to see how we can build a winning creator campaign for you.

This article was first published in October 2020. It was last updated June 2, 2022.   

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