Film-styled photo of woman sitting a her desk in her teenage room.

How to embrace the retro-style for your Instagram story ads.

Social Marketing
minute read
December 8, 2022
Table of content

The retro visual style is a trend that has been growing in popularity over the past few years. It takes inspiration from art, design and culture of previous decades. This style has become increasingly popular due to its ability to evoke nostalgia and stand out from other visual styles. It can be seen in everything from fashion to home decor, and it's no surprise that it has also begun making its way into Instagram story ads.

Create a sense of warmth and nostalgia like Thom Browne and Aesop

The feeling of nostalgia is a popular trend in advertising. When people see things from the past, they often feel happy because they remember good times. Sometimes ads can make people feel nostalgic for a time they never even lived through! This trend can be used in videos and Instagram stories to make people feel good and want to buy the product.  

For example, the clothing brand Thom Browne recently released a series of Instagram story ads that used retro-style visuals to evoke feelings of nostalgia. Similarly, skincare and beauty brand Aesop used nostalgic visuals in its Instagram story ad campaign.

Make it glitchy like Eastpack and Footlocker

Some brands are using a glitchy visual style in their videos and Instagram stories. This trend takes inspiration from the early screens and computers in the 80's and 90's. The glitchy style often features distorted images, random colours and choppy movement. Examples of this can be seen in Eastpack's and Footlocker's Instagram stories for their campaigns.  

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Make imperfection your friend like Miinto and Matias Moellenbach

The imperfect visual style is a trend that has been gaining a lot of popularity, as it focuses on showcasing the beauty and charm of imperfection. This visual style embraces flaws and irregularities, and highlights the unique character of objects or scenes instead of striving for absolute perfection. This style has been used in various campaigns, such as Miinto's and Matias Moellenbach’s Instagram stories. Pay attention to how shaky and rough these videos are – and yet they make you feel something. When it comes to videography, production value is just not everything.

Use objects from the past like Chimi Eyewear and Isabel Marant

If subtlety it no your thing, you can always go all-in by placing  objects in your Instagram story ads that are recognizable from the past. This approach gives a stronger sense of nostalgia, and it allows you to really show what era of art, design or culture your brand looks to reflect. For example, Chimi Eyewear showcased a big old CRT-screen and faxmachine in its Instagram stories to signify a playful, retro vibe.

Use tons of grain and filters like CDLP and Converse

This one is everything when it comes to  making your Instagram story look retro. Grain, faded colors and filters are powerful tools to evoke the feeling of bygone eras. There are a variety of tools and plugins available to help you achieve a grainy film look in your videos.

One option is to use Adobe After Effects, which is a powerful post-production software designed for creating visual effects and motion graphics for video. With After Effects, you can easily add grain and noise elements to your video with the Noise & Grain feature. It also has several built-in filters that give your footage an vintage or film look, such as Sepia Tone, Vignette, and Gaussian Blur.

Another option is FilmConvert, a plugin for Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro that helps you create an authentic film look for your video. The plugin simulates various types of camera grain, and it comes with over 120 camera profiles that let you match the grain to different types of cameras.

Whatever tool or plugin you choose, making sure that all the elements work together to create the perfect retro vibe will be essential if you want your video ad to stand out from the crowd. By blending editing techniques from past eras with modern tools and technologies, you can create truly unique visuals that will spark nostalgia in audiences around the world!


By following the tips above, you can create a unique and eye-catching visual style that will stand out amongst other Instagram stories . Embracing the retro-style for your Instagram story ads can help you create a strong connection with your audience and evoke nostalgia. So if you're looking to make a statement with your Instagram story ad campaigns, try out these tips to get that vintage look!

Good luck!

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