Top Brands Go Behind the Scenes with Instagram Video

July 11, 2013

instagram video

When short video recently rolled out to Instagram, many had high expectations for brands that were already killing it on the photo-sharing platform. Now that it’s been a few weeks since Instagram video was added, we’re already seeing brands take the lead in this category, while others are falling behind.

Before the video release, shares of Vine videos on Twitter actually topped photos shared via Instagram. However, since adding the video feature, Instagram is back on top. Less than three weeks later, Vine sharing has drastically dropped. While it’s hard to forecast what this means in the long run, it does appear that many top brands are accepting Instagram’s new video features.

One approach being adopted by many brands is using video to take user on a behind-the-scenes adventure, as if they were on the field, at the photo shoot, or in the lab, too. Check out a few of the top examples we found, and feel free to share your favorite picks as well in the comments below.

St. Louis Cardinals

For baseball fans as well as sports fans in general, viewers are used to seeing the players on the field and in their uniforms. What we don’t get the chance to see is when they aren’t playing a game and have a chance to relax, or in St. Louis Cardinals’ Joe Kelly’s case, let it all out. This video — something of a spy shot taken during a practice — lets fans see what happens when the cameras (at least the TV ones) aren’t rolling. This video was definitely a homerun in our books.

Forever 21

Clothing retailer Forever 21 decided to take a break from a photo shoot to give their fans a little push to help get through the end of the week. This video is great because it doesn’t just show the personalities behind the women you see in store or online. Because of the signs, you can tell they did it strictly for online viewing.

New Belgium

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that so much science is involved in brewing craft beer. New Belgium, a prominent Instagram user before the video feature, stepped up their social presence with this video taking beer fanatics on a trip through the process of making a streak plate. The best part? Eye protection is not required.

The Today Show

As a video-based medium in their own right, there’s a lot of pressure for TV and video companies to nail social video, too. Not surprisingly, The Today Show delivers. Through many behind-the-scenes videos, viewers can see concerts live concerts, hosts taking part in interviews, and in one special video, a surprise for one guest standing on the plaza. (Caution: There will be screams.)


Playboy wasn’t afraid to jump onto Instagram! Their profile, which features over half a million followers, tastefully gives fans shots of the behind-the-scenes action at photo shoots, the mansion, and inside models’ homes. Video functionality only enhanced this. This video in particular caught our attention as you could see the action, smell the sparklers, and hear the music played during the shoot — something you could never get in a magazine.


Artists and designers often keep their work a secret until their piece is complete. Shoppers and enthusiasts rarely get a chance to see creation happen. Not so for Christian Louboutin, the designer behind the shoes with red soles. They’ve adopted Instagram video as their virtual drawing board. Watch as the designer sketches a show for host Charlie Rose.

Ben & Jerry’s

The fifteen seconds of crumbly graham crackers, creamy caramel, and rich cream being made into ice cream will make even the strictest of dieters reconsider for at least one day. Ben & Jerry’s uses Instagram video to provide a tour into the flavor lab that not only makes one hungry, but makes for a great way to show the true care that goes into each frozen bite.

Who are some of your favorite brands effectively using Instagram video? Can your organization use the social tool to take your followers on a behind-the-scenes journey? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.