10 Brands breaking the mold on IG Stories (Part 1 of 3)

….And what you can learn from them.


GIPHY REVIEWS might be our new favourite thing.

Kvell has taken the ordinary and made it extraordinary by creating entire reviews on Instagram Stories through the majestic vehicle of giphys.

It’s art, it’s marketing, and it’s… Well, it’s brilliant. Because they created something new.

What can we learn?

Reimagine storytelling for the platform you’re on - that means using its native creative tools to their best ability, and making them an integral part of the Story itself.

How can gifs not only elevate your Stories, but be the Stories themselves? If you’re a travel company exploring a new destination, why not use polls to ask your audience where you go next to give them a virtual tour that they’re actually involved in creating? Left or right? Coffee or beer? Taxi or subway? Let the tools create the Story, rather than just be decorations.



These legends don’t only have a whole new way of working out on lockdown (hip hop yoga by candlelight -- no, we’re not joking, yes, we have personally tried) - they also tell Stories like absolute bosses.

Guru favorites include playlists from classes you can download, and crowdsourcing class themes (Jay-Z Wednesdays, don’t mind if we do).

What can we learn?

Delivering value for the audience wins every time, but with Stories the weight this carries is tenfold.

Why? Because it’s a place that feels private, which means a more engaged audience. But that also means you have to earn permission to be there, to be a part of that space, to hold attention.

The best way to do that is by creating generously - add an experience, offer value. Education, motivation, or inspiration; new playlists, wallpapers, or workout tips. Create for the audience, with value in mind.



Did you know…?

NYU are leading in the Stories space for a really, really great reason: they’re not dumbing down their content for a younger audience -- they’re just reimagining what those narratives look like for the way their audience consumes content now. Content shouldn’t be simplified for a younger demographic, rather, the information, the content, the Stories -- should be crafted with the channel in mind.

What can we learn?

NYU play to their strengths tapping into the wealth of fascinating information, research, and perspectives that they have percolating within their walls.

A recent example showcased the origins of Dr Seuss’ Lorax, a nostalgic character that originated from the Patas monkey of South Africa. NYU used animated visuals and a bite-sized narrative that unfolded frame by frame.

First: Play to your strengths - if you’re a cafe, what is the most popular order before 10am? What Story can you tell about that?

Second: Give audiences on Instagram a story to tell. Whether it’s letting them be a part of the narrative by incorporating their feedback, asking for their stories (UGC FTW) or giving them an interesting fact to share, you’re inadvertently putting them at the centre of the story - and thus giving them ownership, making them want to share it.



On Netflix, entertainment is boss. Their Stories are an extension of that mantra.

Take a look at their Highlights and you’ll be able to dive into all kinds of entertaining extensions of the myriad of shows, movies and documentaries they have on offer.

Our favorite part? Their emoji recommendations: they used Instagram’s native questions feature to invite their audience to submit an emoji for them to respond back with a recommendation, based on that emoji. Shout out to whoever submitted the eggplant, bold move.

What can we learn?

Start by understanding why your brand exists. Then, recognize that Stories are an extension of that narrative. So, look to build Stories that build on that.

Each Story you tell, each micro interaction with your brand, should help reinforce that brand narrative in your audience’s mind.

So when you know inside out what yours is, you’ll be able to use Stories as a piece of the puzzle to help paint the picture in your audience’s mind of who you are, and why you showed up in the first place.