May 26, 2024

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AI-generated images come to advertising

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As with any revolutionary technology that could make the world a better place, generative AI is instead busy selling you stuff.

Amazon has launched an AI-powered tool that lets advertisers generate imagery directly on the Amazon Ads platform. The tool is designed to increase sales and streamline marketing.

How it works

Let’s say you’re selling cookware. In the prehistoric times of 2018, you’d have to take a photo of your pots and pans or pay a professional to do it, then upload the photo. Exhausting! Amazon allows you to generate background staging you can drop your product into, which the company says improves the click-through rate by up to 40% compared to listings with standard imagery.

One challenge for Amazon’s generator is rendering the correct scale. As noted by New York Magazine, artificial environments make it difficult to judge the actual size of the products. Throw in the fact that most AI-generated images, for now, appear less-than-authentic, and advertisers are using something that comes across as cheap rather than inexpensive.

Still, everyone is doing it

Amazon is not the only company using AI to create theoretically better ads.

  • Meta announced its version of an ad generator last month, promising advertisers “a new era of creativity that maximizes the productivity, personalization, and performance” of campaigns.
  • Google says its product will allow the future of advertising to evolve.
  • TikTok has Creative Assistant, which “draws information from a wealth of TikTok-focused creative knowledge, providing you with the most relevant responses for when you’re creating ads.”

What about human photographers? AI image generators don’t necessarily mean the end of product photography, as brands will still need decent photos of their wares. Adobe SVP of Digital Media Ashley Still said fears of graphic design going away due to AI images is like when people thought painting would vanish after the invention of the camera.—DL

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