Cannes Lions

Tag In

FACEBOOK, New York / FACEBOOK / 2021

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Case Film






Instagram has been the birthplace of hundreds of thousands of new ideas and businesses and the stage where some of the world's biggest brands reinvented themselves. It's a marketing platform like no other, driving growth in highly effective but unconventional ways. But "business driver" still doesn't come to mind when businesses talk about Instagram.

So our task was to find what makes Instagram special and show how it can drive business growth.

Above all, Instagram is a community of communities, made up of people, creators and businesses that connect, collaborate and co-create. We call this the power of collective creativity. It's what drives culture -and our task was to show that it drives business goals as well.

The brief: how do we show the unexpectedly high returns on collective creativity?

Objective: get businesses to see Instagram as core to their marketing plan and therefore, worth customizing for.


Instagram has democratized creative expression, inspired a generation of creators and created new possibilities for brands. From IG Live dance parties around the world to people sharing stories of resilience and brands responding to them, we saw that creativity was not solo. This wasn't business as usual: marketing as interruption was giving way to a new relationship.

The Instagram collective creativity revolution brought people, brands and creators together to move culture forward. A campaign for Instagram could do no less than redefine what a campaign means in the 21st century. To get Instagram, you had to DO Instagram.

We partnered marketers together with a diverse array of creators and communities and set them free to DO Instagram their way-- tapping into the power of collective creativity on our platform in what we called the "Tag In" challenge.


Data gathering and insights

Our brand health research as well as ongoing conversations with marketers and agencies at all levels kept pointing to a dissonance in perceptions: Instagram scored high on creative expression but considerably lower on business results. We realized that for those used to more traditional media options, Instagram's creativity was blinding clients to its effectiveness.

Relevance to platform

Instagram pioneered a new approach to marketing, co-created by companies with creators and communities, leveraging the creative sandbox of Instagram. Our campaign set out to bring that approach to life.


A conventional campaign developed in a vacuum by client and agency would defeat the purpose. Collective creativity cannot be demonstrated by conventional creativity, so we came up with an idea that wasn't just telling the audience what we wanted them to know, but demonstrating how it worked.


The campaign ran from September -December 2020 on Instagram, Facebook, programmatic, email, local affinity groups and through contextual partners. The scope of implementation went beyond conventional marketing tactics, operating at 3 levels: first we tagged in businesses and asked them to identify a marketing problem we could solve with them. Then we tagged in creators who brought a range of out-of-the-box creative solutions. And finally, we opened it up beyond businesses and creators, to allow the community to take part.


The campaign ran in 11 markets, with a special focus on strategic markets including Japan, South Korea and Germany. We reached 23.6 million people in our core business audience and beyond, generating engagement levels 250% higher than benchmark.

Most importantly, the campaign led to statistically significant shifts in preference for Instagram as a digital advertising partner and a rise in intent to use Instagram for their business.

In a control study of those who viewed the campaign against those who did not, the campaign successfully introduced the idea of Instagram as the platform where creativity drives business, and set the stage for more ambitious plans in the year ahead.

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