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Pathmatics Blog
COVID-19, Instagram |


Top 5 Instagram Advertisers of the Summer

September 01 2020 by Sarah Fleishman

Any other year, most of us would have spent the Summer with friends and family enjoying the great outdoors. This year, however, the pandemic has kept many of us isolated in our homes, staring at our screens, as the days and seasons roll on--and all seem to just blend together.

How have these shifts translated to advertiser behavior on Instagram? Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 Instagram advertisers since June 1, 2020, to find out.

5. HBO Offers A Summer Activity With No Risk of Infection: Streaming Indoors

Since June 1, 2020, HBO has spent almost $14 million on Instagram ad placements, mostly in the form of video posts promoting its streaming service HBO Max that launched just before the Summer on May 27.

This post is one of HBO’s top 5 on Instagram over the Summer and highlights how HBO Max offers access to content from a variety of sources.

Streaming platforms have been in a comfortable position since the beginning of the pandemic as consumers are more interested than even in staying inside. This is a competitive and arguably oversaturated market, though, so it’s no surprise HBO is hitting Instagram to showcase how it’s different from the rest.

4. Wish.com Shopping Presents a New Distribution Channel for Businesses

Shelter in place orders have left many businesses unable to continue to manufacture, sell, and distribute goods deemed non-essential during this time. The popular shopping app Wish made it to our top 5 Instagram advertiser list with most of its top 10 ad creatives promoting its services to businesses rather than consumers. The company has dedicated over $15 million of advertising budget to the platform since the beginning of June.


3. Nestle’s Ads Reflect The Current “Household-Only” Cooking Culture

Nestle’s nearly $30 million Instagram advertising budget brings the company to the third spot on the list for the summer. Looking at its top 10 creatives over this period, the presence of only one related to grilling and barbecuing out of a list of frozen meals is a clear reminder that this summer has been unique. Check out this lineup, perfectly representing a summer spent at home on the couch:


2. Amazon Promotes Audible, Prime Video, and PPE Distribution

Amazon tends to promote a wide variety of services and products in its advertisements regardless of the platform, and this certainly is no different for Instagram, where Amazon dedicated $46.4 million since the beginning of June this year. Three out of Amazon’s top five Instagram ad creatives are videos promoting COVID-19-related content like case studies of PPE distribution and the company’s dedication to its safety protocols throughout the delivery process. Check out the two examples below.

These ads may be a response to negative attention in the media about the risks drivers face while delivering non-essential goods to people with the option to stay safe at home.

At the same time, Amazon is also heavily promoting its streaming service as well as Audible and Kindle platforms. Similarly to HBO Max, these offerings have been relevant to the cooped up consumer this Summer.

1. Procter & Gamble Promotes an Immune System Boost

Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble tops the list of Instagram’s top advertisers since the beginning of this summer season at almost $80 million. This consumer goods giant has a huge advertising budget overall, so that’s no surprise, but let’s take a closer look at what’s important to them now.

The company prioritizes its budget on this platform to focus on video posts, also focusing on California and Texas geographically.

4 of the top 5 creatives P&G posted on Instagram over the summer promote classic household goods like feminine hygiene products and razors. But, the creative in P&G’s top spot does appear to be a sign of the times. This video post promotes a probiotic claiming to support the immune system—an important value-add during this pandemic.


Overall, it’s clear that while social media activity imitates life, the content of Instagram ads also offers an interesting look into what’s most relevant for consumers and brands through changing times.

You can get access to data like this and more with Pathmatics' marketing intelligence platform. Want to have look around? Check out our sample insights dashboard and see for yourself. 

About Author
Sarah Fleishman

With over a decade of experience across digital marketing, content, creative, and PR, Sarah is a creative and dynamic thinker who loves to delight clients with unique and relatable content. Sarah graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Sociology.

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