Customizing the creative in your Meta DPAs — Facebook’s built-in overlays and frames versus Branded Catalogs
Dynamic product ads (DPAs) or catalog ads are one of the most <blue-low-highlight>reliable and profitable ways to advertise<blue-low-highlight> on Meta.
But there’s a big limitation.
Most brands’ DPAs are plain and boring, showing product image on a white background — or worse, with vertical bars on both sides of their beautiful studio shots.
This can result in <blue-low-highlight>catalog ads that look the same as your competitor’s ads<blue-low-highlight>, which can be a huge waste of precious ad spend.
To get around this problem, Meta offers advertisers the option to add overlays or ‘frames’ on their dynamic catalog creatives. Part of their suite of creative tools, frames allow advertisers to add stickers or custom overlays to their DPAs at the time of setting up their ad.
Frames can help in two ways: one, you can draw your shoppers’ attention to relevant details like product USPs or names, or even highlight offers or promos. In addition to this, mapping relevant and dynamic information such as slashed prices, discount and sale badges can help you shorten your shoppers’ purchase journey.
However, while <blue-low-highlight>Meta’s frames are better than nothing, they offer very limited freedom<blue-low-highlight> when it comes to the design of your catalog ad. You can only apply a single overlay to all your products in an ad, with very limited control over the placement and styling of dynamic stickers (to map slashed prices, discount % off, etc.), making it hard to create catalog ads that reflect your brand.
This is why so many pro advertisers and brands that want to stand out opt for Socioh’s Branded Catalogs.
See for example, this catalog ad by Carve Designs, which removes the white bars in their plain product feed and uses a 2-image layout and key value props instead:
Want to learn how you can add overlays or frames to your dynamic ads in Meta? We’ve included a guide at the end of this blog post.
How do Meta’s overlays compare against Socioh’s Branded Catalogs?
Facebook’s overlays are just that — frames and stickers you can add on top of your existing image with some basic controls — color, opacity, and size.
This is wholly inadequate if you want to crop or reposition your product images, use secondary images, or map more than one piece of dynamic information onto your carousel ads.
Here’s a list of some of the <blue-low-highlight>key differences between Meta’s built-in frames and Socioh’s Branded Catalogs<blue-low-highlight>:
As you can see from the table above, there are <blue-low-highlight>several limitations to using Meta’s overlays<blue-low-highlight>.
If you’re looking to create a designed product feed that reflects your brand and adds value to your customers’ shopping experience, you will need a tool that allows you to design and optimize your dynamic ads.
9 Advantages of using Socioh to optimize your catalog creative:
1. Get <blue-low-highlight>complete control<blue-low-highlight> over the placement and styling of each element of your design: Choose from endless formatting options, resize and place your images, logo, dynamic information (such as slashed prices, discount % off, product name, inventory, and even custom/meta information) anywhere within your catalog card, and more.
i) Choose from endless fonts, weights, sizes, colors, and formatting options: Use our ready-to-use layouts and stickers or add your own. Each element is completely customizable.
ii) Add as much dynamic content as your design demands: Want to add slashed prices and discount % off, in addition to the product name? With Socioh, you can do it all.
iii) Never show cropped or poorly fitted images: Socioh’s designer offers complete control over the placement and fitting of your images. Use our automated fitting options and review and edit each card for a flawless product feed.
iv) Control each layer of your catalog’s design — at scale: With Socioh’s advanced design tool, you have the ease of Canva and the control of Photoshop, custom-built for automating design for thousands of products.
2.Use lifestyle and additional images: Want to create multi-image templates or showcase your non-primary images? No problem! Easily showcase images from any position in your product feed, or upload additional images to Socioh to create amazing catalogs. Learn more.
3. Auto-remove backgrounds in Socioh: Remove backgrounds not only from your primary image but additional images too.
4. Add rule-based visibility to any element(s) of your design: Show sale price only on discounted products, map category name on each product, or highlight custom information where relevant.
5. Apply category-based designs and create fallback options: Don’t want the same design on all cards? Easy! Choose different layouts for different collections or product sets. Plus, our fall-back options make sure every case scenario is handled to deliver a perfectly branded catalog ad.
6. Map your product reviews: Directly import customer reviews from your review platform (Socioh integrates with leading review platforms like Yotpo, Judge.me, Stamped.io, and your CSV files!)
7. Never lose your learnings: Want to change your design? You can make endless edits to your product feed and never reset your optimized ads.
8. A/B test your creatives at scale: Want to test which design works better? Iterate on design with complete freedom with our A/B testing feature.
9. Run your ads anywhere: While Facebook’s overlays work only in FB placements (they won’t show up even on your feed ads on IG), Socioh’s Branded Catalogs can run anywhere.
How to add overlays to your dynamic ads in Meta
Want to try Meta’s built-in frames and stickers? Here’s how to do in your Facebook Ads Manager.
First select the catalog option at the campaign level. Then, at the ad level, scroll down to creative tools and click on the ‘Edit creative’ menu:
You can choose to ‘Add a frame’ and/or ‘Add catalog info’ to add your overlays onto your product image.
Once you select the ‘Add a frame’ option, you can upload your image by selecting ‘Custom’ on the menu under the ‘Image’.
On the right, you’ll see a preview of how your products will be displayed. Meta also offers some very basic controls (opacity, size, and position) on the left:
Note: Saving your frame will apply it to every product in your catalog ad. There is no way to apply the frame to only specific products within the ad.
Adding dynamic stickers on your Facebook catalog ads
Meta also offers advertisers the option to ‘Add catalog info’ to their carousel ads. This tool adds limited dynamic information like price, discount, title, etc. onto your images. You can select from automatic or manual settings here. Automatic settings let Meta choose what information to display, while manual controls offer you a short list of product info like price, title, discount %, etc.to choose from.
This information is dynamically pulled for each product. You’ll also be able to choose from simple formatting options to edit the look of your stickers.
As you can see, Meta’s frames and stickers, while useful, offer extremely limited control over your catalog ads. You are simply pasting frames and stickers on top of your product images, with little to no customization when it comes to font, color, placement, or choice of product.
Socioh is a digital advertising platform for eCommerce brands. Our Branded Catalog is the industry leader in dynamic catalog advertising and product feeds.