Instagram's first ad from Michael Kors has begun surfacing in users' streams today, prompting thousands of likes and a couple hundred outraged comments.
Published today to the brand's nearly 1.3 million followers, but also to users who don't follow Michael Kors, the image of a gold watch resting beside a plate of macaroons has garnered more than 36,000 likes. But there's also an outcry in the comments from users who don't seem to care for the presence of a luxury brand -- or any advertiser, in some cases -- in their feeds.
A sample from roughly 300 comments: "If you're going to do sponsored ads you should at least make them cheaper I can't afford this" and "Get this shit outta here. Nobody cares about your awfully expensive watch."
It's probable that a large portion of the likes are coming from Michael Kors's actual fans who chose to see images of expensive handbags and watches, but likes still outstrip comments (which are mostly negative) by a factor of more than 100.
The ad perfectly fits the aesthetic Instagram is striving for. The working concept is for ad quality to be on par with Vogue magazine, according to Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer .
Still to come are ads from nine other marketers who all have a track record of publishing visually-compelling Instagram content, which was the standard Instagram set for eligibility as an advertiser. Those are: Adidas, Ben & Jerry's, Burberry, General Electric, Levi's, Lexus, Macy's, PayPal and Starwood.