Behind Social Canvas 2.0: Kargo’s ad-tech tool targeting social embeds

Social Canvas 2.0

“You’re getting two or three impressions in one hit”

News in 2023 is a fast-moving beast, and more often than not news will break first on social media. For those writing the news, embedding the social post announcing something major is the easiest way to get the message across. 

Enter Social Canvas 2.0. Mobile ad-tech company Kargo has launched the tool in Asia-Pacific, an exclusive ad format allowing marketers to target ad slots adjacent to social embeds in editorial for high-profile, targeted visibility in a brand-safe environment.

Mediaweek spoke to Robert Leach, general manager for APAC at Kargo about creating Social Canvas 2.0 and bringing it down under.

ad fatigue social canvas

Robert Leach

Building 2.0

The original Social Canvas was launched in 2020 – rebranding from its previous name of Rhombus – with a single format. Expanding on the original, Social Canvas 2.0 now has two new formats called the Pop and the Wrapper. 

“The Pop surrounds the social embed, but the top part has got activity and animation that breaks through the banner,” says Leach. “That adds a real level that encourages interactivity with the ad unit, it’s a bit more eye-catching.

“The Wrapper surrounds the embed. The old frame had the ad unit at the top and the bottom of the embed, the wrapper gives you an ad unit down the sides as well so it completely frames it. Again, it’s got strong reactivity built into it so it’s a bit more attention-grabbing.”

Outside of the Pop and Wrapper, Leach says that 2.0 offers greater scale and the ability to buy content packages.

“We’ve got four times more unique domains signed up for Social Canvas than we used to have, so that’s about 65% more impressions on average

“We’ve also done some tweaks to the tech that now allows us to do content packages. Before, if you were releasing a new movie and you wanted to follow a particular film star or the name of the movie or something like that, by the hashtags, you could do that. Now you can own the whole entertainment category, or you could own the celebrity category, or you could own the health and wellness category.”

Coming to APAC 

Before bringing Social Canvas 2.0 to Asia Pacific, Leach says that the team launched the product in the US “just before Christmas.” 

We wanted to wait until the new year to bring it to APAC. It’s just so busy. The end of the calendar year is just so busy, when you launch new products in December they tend to get a bit lost in the noise. 

“There are also benefits within our organisation – I often think of letting the Americans try and sort out any bugs, and then we’ll take it!”

The results from the US launch suggest that Social Canvas is “one of the best, if not the best performing in-article ad unit across the open web at the moment,” says Leach, in a good sign for the product in APAC.

“It’s getting very high click-through rates depending on which format you’re using, but very high click-through rates and very high in-view rates. You’re getting two or three impressions in one hit because of the way it frames the social embed, so it’s a really, really powerful ad unit that’s performing really well.”

Kargo social canvas

Social Disruption

The social media sector seems to be going through an intense period of change, with layoffs and internal restructures across multiple platforms. While Leach says that “nobody likes to benefit from anybody’s misfortune,” the timing has worked out well for Social Canvas 2.0.

“Quite a lot of social media platforms are struggling a bit at the moment. We’ve seen Twitter and Meta laying off a lot of people, a lot of the big tech companies are doing that at the moment – it’s leading to a bit of nervousness around some of the advertising on social media platforms. 

We get the best of social media and deliver a product that’s in a very brand-safe, stable environment, and it’s a good time to do that.”

Looking ahead, though, Leach says that the future of social media looks bright.

“They live in that world of flux, but they always reinvent themselves and come through it, and generally speaking come back strong.”

See Also: Mobile ad firm Kargo launches Social Canvas 2.0 across Asia-Pacific region

Top Image: Robert Leach

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