To drive brand awareness and consideration for its cold sore medication in the summer, Abreva ran video ads in Instagram Stories, which reached 1.8 million people.

The brand that speeds healing

Abreva Cream is a nonprescription cold sore medicine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to shorten healing time. It is the only branded product available over the counter that can heal cold sores.

1.8 million

people reached


more efficient cost per thousand impressions compared to Facebook ads alone


video completion rate

Facebook Creative Shop and Weber Shandwick proved how simple, bespoke creative in Instagram Stories can drive results. We wanted to drive brand awareness of our cold sore medication during the summer months and we did just that—after all, people want to get rid of their cold sores year-round! We couldn’t be more excited.
Boost awareness and consideration during summer

Abreva has been considered a brand that only treated cold sores caused by triggers related to the cold and flu season. To encourage people to purchase on additional occasions, the brand wanted to drive awareness of a lesser-known cold sore trigger: ultraviolet ray sun exposure.

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Custom creative in Stories

Abreva decided to run a digital ad campaign to promote its cold sore product in the summer months. Abreva had previously run ad campaigns in Facebook News Feed and Instagram feed, but was excited to exclusively test ads in Instagram Stories so that it could take advantage of the full-screen vertical frame.

Abreva partnered with Facebook Creative Shop and creative agency Weber Shandwick to build eye-catching video ads in Instagram Stories. The ads followed mobile-first best practices, such as showing the brand and product in the first few seconds.

Weber Shandwick designed the animation for the video ads. The agency used the same distinctive animation style it had previously used for Facebook News Feed and Instagram feed, but it customized the ad creative to make the most of the vertical viewing experience in Instagram Stories.

Each three-paneled vertical video ad appeared in carousel format in Instagram Stories. Comic text overlay appeared on each video, with phrases such as “You’re invited to the union of Your Face and Cold Sore.” Each video ad contained a Learn More call-to-action button that linked to the brand’s website. Abreva delivered the ads to a broad audience of US men and women aged 18–65.

The results of Abreva’s June 18–30, 2018 campaign were based on reporting data from Facebook Ads Manager, which revealed that ads in Instagram Stories drove:

  • 1.8 million people reached

  • 44% more efficient cost per thousand impressions (CPM) than Facebook ads alone

  • 64% video completion rate