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Social Breakdown: Taskrabbit's text-only Lil' Jon Insta ad

Clever copywriting over everything, always.

I really love simple, effective, entertaining social. Even better when it’s budget-conscious, relying on a strong idea instead of costly video production.

I caught TaskRabbit’s Instagram ad when, surprise, surprise, I failed to complete an apartment cleaning booking (thanks ADHD). You can bet I got retargeted immediately, which tossed a great ad in my Instagram Stories. I laughed right away, then found whichever tab I’d left TaskRabbit on to actually book their services.

Let’s talk about why TaskRabbit’s Instagram Story Ad is so great.

The Content: TaskRabbit’s Instagram ad

If you’re unfamiliar, TaskRabbit is a freelance labor marketplace—you can book movers, cleaners, handymen, mounting, all sorts of technology help, and anything else you could use a hand with.

Here’s the ad that’s had me howling. A static image that’s chock full of social media hooks to get you clicking. I’ll run through the various mechanics TaskRabbit uses below.

Hook #1: a strong cultural reference

Lil’ Jon’s the gift that keeps on giving. It’s been 21 years since “Get Low” introduced us to the Kings Of Crunk, but I know you heard that raspy rap in your head the second you read that ad.

More importantly, here, that iconic Yin Yang Twins hook.


Every millennial knows it. Every single one. Why do you think Get Low has 459 million Spotify plays even though the song came out six years before Spotify even existed?

And those millennials are now between their late 20s and early 40s. And that’s an age range that needs the labor love that TaskRabbit’s services provide. Using the line as a social hook is right on the money for their target audience, especially when you ad in…

Hook #2: slick copywriting

Yes, I sat at my desk and imagined a parody where the actual song said “FOR THE BIG TV OR SMALLLLLL.” Not Weird Al-style, I needed Lil’ Jon & The Yin Yang Twins’ vocals on it.

It’s such a simple little line, but that’s what makes it so great. The ad uses the lyric as a social hook, then contextualizes it to TaskRabbit. It’s what copywriting’s supposed to do—find a way to contextualize a brand’s offerings that’s interesting to the intended audience. You’re gonna smile reading this ad, and you immediately get what TaskRabbit does.

Hook #3: great typography & design

Scroll back up to the ad—notice the sharpness. The contrast. The text treatment. The size of the text. The headline emphasis of the lyric that leads into the smaller text.

When you’re paging through Instagram Stories & see this ad, it catches your eye immediately. Your brain can’t help but read it. It stands out.

You’ll often hear the argument that ads should look like native social content. That’s true of TikTok, where the For You Page trains scrollers to expect faces & content from accounts they never followed, but you’re not fooling anyone on Instagram Stories. It’s far more important to get noticed & get a reaction with an Instagram Story ad than anything.

Remember, people don’t hate ads—they hate bad ads.

Maybe most importantly, it’s budget-friendly

In a social world where we’re constantly barked at to make vertical video content, it’s nice to see effective advertising that doesn’t have an ounce of movement. You don’t need an army of creatives or expensive cameras—just a great idea that suits the creative skillsets at your brand’s disposal.

Social Cues

There are so many social big thinkers out there, writing all kinds of amazing strategies, analysis, and breakdowns. All ships rise with the tide, so here are a few reads from other places I think you could learn from.

Okay, this is super interesting. Basically, you can pay Cirque to use their performers as influencers—it makes Cirque a talent agency / influencer agency of sorts. Quite a clever idea.

If any short-form platform can break into long-form, it’s TikTok. I’m watching this test pretty closely.

Elon really has destroyed my favorite website. I barely even want to use Twitter these days—it’s impossible to avoid the bots, memes, and hate.

Some Personal News

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