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Amazon now lets advertisers use generative AI to pretty up their product shots

Amazon now lets advertisers use generative AI to pretty up their product shots


For advertisers without a graphic design or creative team, this is a quick solution to spruce up images that would otherwise be a bore.

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An example of Amazon’s AI-based image generation tool for advertisers.
Image: Amazon

Amazon is beta testing AI image generation tools for its advertisers, offering an easy way to create backgrounds or scenes around whatever product ad buyers are hoping to sell. The company says the new feature is “designed to remove creative barriers and enable brands to produce lifestyle imagery that helps improve their ads’ performance.”

This could prove to be a quick, convenient option for brands that would otherwise be stuck working with boring standalone images of a product against a white background. Amazon says putting products in a lifestyle scene can lead to 40 percent higher click-through rates.

“This solution is helpful for advertisers of all sizes — enabling those that do not have in-house capabilities or agency support to more easily create brand-themed imagery,” Amazon wrote. “The image generation capability is easy to use and requires no technical expertise.”

The process works just like other image generator tools: you enter a prompt, and away you go with multiple results to choose from. But friends, even in Amazon’s own provided example, there’s a noticeable tell that AI created this peaceful autumn scene. What’s going on with that fork in the lower-right corner? It’s like the fingers problem but for silverware.

A screenshot of Amazon’s AI image generation artifacts.
Why is this fork so close to a toaster to begin with? Seems ill-advised.
Image: Amazon

But the backdrops are generally pretty convincing and not far off from the type of product stock images that are so prevalent on Amazon. The company had already been using generative AI to help sellers write compelling product listings. All it takes is providing “a brief description of the product in a few words or sentences,” and Amazon will flesh out the rest of your description.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy has stated that “every single” team at his company is exploring and working with generative AI. “It is going to be at the heart of what we do. It’s a significant investment and focus for us,” he said on Amazon’s Q2 2023 earnings call.