Facebook Canvas Ads


Facebook’s Canvas is a full screen, immersive experience that allows advertisers to engage with users and tell their stories in a more thorough way than previously available on the platform. Canvas is customizable, allowing advertisers to create content in the format that makes the most sense for them and that will prove the most effective way to tell their story. A Canvas can consist of any combination of the following content:

All aspects of Canvas ads can have unique external links. Additionally, they can be designed so that a consistent button is placed at the bottom of the canvas, used as a call to action throughout the whole experience.

Example and Use Cases

Canvas ads should be considered for all campaigns. We’ve used these to tell stories on everything from live events, to TV shows, to developing and established artists. Due to the flexibility of the unit, depending on the project, there are unlimited angles and paths that a Canvas can take.

For James Bay – following the Grammys, our team created a Canvas to highlight his performance and nominations, as well as showcase James as an artist. The ad started with a tilt-to-pan image of James, as well as custom made images calling out his nominations for both the Grammys and the Brit Awards. From there, users are shown a tilt-to-pan HD video clip from James’ official music video, followed by an image carousel with different press photos of James and great quotes from influential media outlets. Finally, the Canvas ends with another carousel, with 4 different retailers where users can buy the album.

To support AXS TV’s Sunday Night Rock programming, a Canvas was created to give more info and get people excited about the lineup. The goal of this unit was to drive tune-in, by providing an engaging ad unit showcasing the various programs for the night.

Awakenings – a dance music concert, coming to NYC wanted to showcase the full experience of the event, and using Canvas provided an immersive experience to showcase to potential ticket buyers, what to expect. The Canvas reached dance music fans in the New York area and gave them a detailed look about the performers and the general feel for the event, in order to entice them to purchase tickets.


With the roll out of Canvas, Facebook also created two new metrics to measure the success of the ads.

Average Duration of Canvas Viewed – This tracks how long a user spends engaging with canvas. This is a great metric to have, to see if users are spending a significant amount of time engaging with the content post-click. In addition to standard metrics such as clicks and Cost Per Link Click, value can be placed on the amount of time the user engages. If we know a user spends one minute engaging with our content – whether they end up clicking through, there is great value in that minute. Having a captivated audience for that time period both increases awareness and shows high levels of interest.

Average % of Canvas Viewed – This metric looks at the percentage of the Canvas that was viewed. This helps us look across multiple Canvases and see what different approaches are helping us get a higher percentage of users to move through the entire Canvas and get to the end.

Moving Forward

Canvas ads have provided a new exciting ad option on the Facebook landscape. We are able to utilize all the same targeting of other Facebook ads, in a highly engaging, immersive experience. These ads can be adapted in many different ways, to find the most effective way to get the story across, for nearly any project. The data we’ve seen is encouraging, and it’s an important step to be able to see how long users are spending engaging with our ads. We are looking forward to continuing to run Canvas, optimizing creative and finding new ways to innovate in the space.

Joe Schlesinger
Written By:
Account Director
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