How to snatch a competitive advantage with Facebook and Instagram carousel ads

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Did you know a carousel ad on Facebook and Instagram can get you 10 times more clicks than the normal ads?

With more images, a carousel ad can increase click through rates, and most importantly, engagement.

Put simply, a carousel ad is one that displays a series of images, not just the one. Here’s one recently released by Mini.

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It’s only been a few months since Facebook introduced the new advertising features, and there are already good reports coming in.

When FoodPanda tested Facebook carousel ads for the first time, they found out that their click through rates had increased by 180% and the campaigns cost per install had gone down by 39%.

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Food Panda

Truth is, carousel ads can offer you a huge competitive advantage because not a lot of brands are using them, or using them well. 


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What are Carousel Ads

Carousel ads allow businesses to include 3-5 images in the each individual ad they post on Facebook or Instagram (instead of just one).

The group of images are then amalgamated into one ad and users scroll between the images to view the ad in its entirety.

The great benefit of carousel ads is that they invite businesses to tell a story and build visual engagement.

In this article, we’ll do two things:

  1. Introduce you to carousel ads and share some case studies;
  2. Give you some pre-made Canva carousel ad templates to get started right away.

Let’s begin with the case studies.

01. Showcase Multiple Products Together

This was the ad published by Banana Republic to showcase their new collection which included boyfriend jeans and boyfriend shirts (Yes guys, that is a thing). The girl in the picture is not a model, she is actually a very famous blogger and an influencer.


Banana Republic

Banana Republic probably put her in the ad because they wanted to increase engagement even more. In case you want to know more about influencer marketing, this article will teach you everything you need to know.

Shutterfly followed the similar approach to let their customers know they were having a sale on the website. But, instead of going the usual way and sharing ordinary product pictures, they decided to put dog mugs and an adorable cat. Now, wouldn’t that make anyone swipe left?



Motorola has found a fun way of making product placement interesting. The bright colours of the background go perfectly with the phones’ wallpapers. And not to mention how each image fits perfectly with the taglines.



Publix shows off their delicious and fresh baked breads, one scroll at a time. For their last image, they decided to give their logo a dough-y makeover



Wendys also used carousel ads for product placement. Instead of using different images for each page, they used a long image and then split it to depict the continuation of the whole ad.



Split image is the easiest way to go when you are looking to pique curiosity among your users. The first image should reveal something but not enough, so that the users are compelled to swipe more to find out. These ad campaigns can also be used to launch new products.

Tesco Foods makes it almost impossible for people to avoid this carousel ad by splitting the image of a delicious tandoor.

Tesco Food

Tesco Foods

02. Promote Your Brand’s Culture

There is nothing better than letting the world know what your brand is all about, and it can work marvelously for carousel ads too.

Uber created this carousel ad to get more people to sign up as an Uber driver. Apart from the great images, do you notice how each headline points out a benefit of being an Uber driver?



Especially the first and the last image talk about the monetary benefits. This is because the first image would make the users swipe and the last one would make them go to the website.

Tiffany resonates New York and this is what the brand is trying to tell in this carousel ad for its watches, with Empire State Building in the background.



Pencils for Promise is a non-profit organization that helps build schools and push education in developing countries, and through this ad, they are trying to depict just that.


Pencils for Promise

This also a great example of how you can build an engaging carousel ad even if you have just two photos. The second image shows the transition between the two photos, which obviously makes the users swipe more.

Hawkers here gives an illusion that it has split up two images, when these are actually four separate images.



03. Tell a Story

Minibar, a restaurant, used a carousel ad to tell a story and let the users know what it is like to enjoy a drink there.

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Penny Dreadful is a supernatural drama and to increase their viewership they used snippets from their last episode.


Penny Dreadful

Cadbury depicts this really funny cricket story with their ad and to know what happens to the ball, or Cadbury in this case, you have to scroll it till the very end.



Starwood Hotels show what it really feels like to vacation in one of their hotels and enjoy swimming in a private pool.



Your Turn

Now that you know everything you need to do to make a kickass Facebook and Instagram carousel ad, it’s time to get creative. 

Sign up to Canva and create an ad for your brand. Here a few customizable designs to get you started. Just click the ones you like to use them:


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10_Dog Carousel

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Edit this design in Canva

Edit this design in Canva

Carousel ad specifications

Now that your images are ready for your carousel ad, it’s time to take them live. But before doing that, you need to know the specifics of the ads.

Firstly, not more than 20% of the image can have text on it. If your image does have text and you are not sure if it would get approved, you can check that by uploading your image here.

Facebook Carousel Ad specifications

  •         The image size should be 600 x 600 px
  •         The text on top of the image can be of a maximum 90 characters
  •         The link headline can be of a maximum 40 characters

Instagram Carousel Ad specifications

  •         The image size should be 600 x 600 px
  •         The text description can be over 2,200 characters

To know how to upload these carousel ads on Instagram and Facebook, check out the official advert guide.

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