Facebook Is Letting Marketers Link Canvas Ads and Include 360-Degree Video

Brazilian bank Itau is testing the feature

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Facebook's full-screen mobile ads, a product known as Canvas, is getting 360-degree video capability. Itau, a Brazilian bank that has been running a lot of Facebook ads, is testing the feature. 

The 360-degree ads will be rolling out widely today.

Also, the social network is letting Canvas advertisers link to other Canvas ads. The idea is to create a multi-page experience that tells a more in-depth and engaging brand narrative. It's supposed to work as if it's a digital storybook.

By linking Canvases, Beats by Dre encouraged people to explore its headphones in various colors, which were designed after different countries' flags. When people tapped on their different Beats options, they got another Canvas ad to explore. The brand, working with agency PMG, saw an average of 39 seconds spent in the Canvas, and 73 percent of the Canvas was viewed on average.

"With almost a minute in average engagement with the unit, this was the best performing Facebook unit to date when looking at time spent," said Nick Drabicky, head of agency strategy at PMG.

Canvas ads, with regular videos and still photos, have evidently been helping marketers meet their objectives in intriguing ways since launching in February. According to Facebook, when insurance brand Prudential recently wanted to raise brand awareness and position itself as a company that cares about the health of Singaporeans' relationships, it invited pairs of people (spouses, parents and children, siblings, etc.) to look into each other's eyes for four minutes. Prudential filmed the meetings and distributed them via Canvas, incorporating text, photos and video so people could experience the content.

As a result, per Facebook, the insurer saw brand association double for the phrases "protect your precious relationships" and "Prudential" among people aged 45 and older. The endeavor also spurred a 51 percent increase in willingness to talk to a Prudential agent, a 20 percent jump in perception of brand uniqueness and a 28 percent spike in brand awareness. 

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.