This Company Is Partnering With Facebook Canvas for Faster Mobile Ads and Better Targeting

Pharma, tech brands trying it out through Undertone

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Undertone is plugging into Facebook Canvas to let brands running campaigns with the New York digital ad company begin including faster mobile-first, cross-device retargeting.

Through Undertone parent company Perion's MakeMeReach platform, advertisers will be able to use the Canvas ad format for cross-device campaigns across Facebook.

Canvas, which was unveiled during the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, lets brands more efficiently build campaigns that load a lot faster on mobile devices. Since its launch, brands including Ford, Target, Nike, Samsung, Apple and L'Oréal have run Canvas campaigns, which Facebook has said load ads 10 times faster than the average mobile website.

According to Undertone co-founder Eric Franchi, the move allows the company to tap into the largest pool of inventory to date. He said brands in the pharmaceutical and consumer tech industries will be among the first to run campaigns with Undertone using Canvas.

"If you spend time looking at Canvas, with the nature of the format and a lot of the different functionalities that are built in and then some of the creative capabilities with Undertone, this can be applicable to a lot of different categories," he said.

Franchi said the Canvas addition is not a separate product—at least not initially—but will be an option for campaigns through Undertone. Along with extending campaign ads into Facebook, data included with retargeting will also be a key new feature. Undertone plans to create new sets of users that have been exposed to the ads and then retarget those that have previously engaged with ads on Facebook—both with Canvas and other Facebook products.

Advertisers working with Undertone will be able to use the agency's creative services unit while also targeting high-value users on Facebook. Beta campaigns will begin running in July and will be available to all clients later this year.

Already, users have watched more than 100 years worth of Canvas ads averaging 31 seconds each, according to data released by Facebook last month. They are also faster to build, with more than half of all ads built within 10 minutes. And starting Wednesday, Facebook will expand its Canvas yet again by offering the unit for use in organic page posts.

"We think this can be really, really meaningful for our brands to be able to start doing things in a much bigger way using high-impact formats," Franchi said.

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.