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July 29, 2016

Facebook canvas stitches together interactivity and brand

Written by Investis Digital

Facebook recently introduced Canvas, a mobile-only, interactive ad unit that blends an immersive experience with all the perks of Facebook’s targeting system. With a Facebook built-in platform, marketers create customized full-screen ads that are compatible with Facebook’s news feed. The Canvas ads feature self-contained sequences of videos, photos and text stitched together by the brand.

Brands are embracing Canvas for its ability to create an engaging and interactive brand experience in a concise mobile ad setting.


According to Facebook, its users view more than half of Canvas ads, with an average viewing time of 31 seconds. In a recent case study, L’Occitane, a major beauty brand, created a Canvas ad that reached millions of people, with the majority of viewers tapped the call-to-action near the end of the ad to increase conversion. Other types of Facebook ads, like carousel ads, use individual product photos to direct users to specific landing pages for conversions.

Canvas ads load up to 10 times faster than standard mobile web pages, according to Facebook. Load times are commonly a turn-off for users who either accidentally or intentionally clicked on ads, but Canvas changes that. Users won’t feel tempted to close an ad as it slowly loads, and instead, will be taken immediately to an immersive brand experience.

In Canvas ads, users interact with one brand, creating an engaging experience that transports users away from the Facebook platform with minimal interruption.

Brand Experience

A full-screen, interactive ad means brands can control exactly what consumers see and optimize to best fit their creative assets. Canvas ads allow brand marketers and creative directors to have new capabilities in the ads they serve to consumers.

Target introduced a new clothing line with videos, animations and a digital dress up doll, allowing users to mix and match pieces of clothing.

yes cat and jack

Target's Cat and Jack Canvas ad features tilt-to-view panoramic photos (left) and a carousel feature (right).

Bentley utilizes the tilt-to-view photo feature, starting the ad with an interactive panoramic photo of the Golden Gate Bridge. As viewers scroll through the ad, the photo zooms in until the last image lands on the passenger seat’s embroidered logo, right above the call-to-action button. This self-contained experience means brands like Target and Bentley control exactly what the consumer experiences as they convert viewers to leads.

bentley pano

Bentley utilized the tilt-to-view panoramic photo as its initial graphic.

bentley yes

The ad's last graphic ended on the passenger seat's embroidered logo and featured a call-to-action button.

With Canvas, marketers build both the experience and the ad to ensure the two components are synchronized.


Canvas ads are built into Facebook for both creators and users. Brands use a tool built into Facebook to create the ads, uploading and arranging brand assets into unique content. Using Facebook’s tool ensures that the ad will be compatible with the platform and brand’s don’t need technical expertise to create ads. For the end-user, when clicking on a Canvas ad, the load times are as streamlined as Facebook’s Instant Articles. Instead of being sent to another window or a third-party app, the ads open within Facebook and are easy to leave by swiping back to your news feed. The seamless opening and closing of the ads make the experience less disruptive or intrusive than traditional mobile ads. Most ads are uploaded in 10 minutes or less and brands can target to specific audiences.

By creating native and engaging ads, Facebook Canvas creates scaled-down brand experiences. The interactivity of the Canvas platform ensures an immersive storytelling experience that benefits both users and products. By eliminating frustration and technical incompatibility possible with other ads, interactions with Canvas will be more rewarding for both users and brands.

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