Using AI Image Generation for Marketing

Over the last few months, there’s been quite a bit of chatter throughout the agency world on the ins and outs of using AI image generation to create art and images for marketing projects. Many questions have surfaced.

  • Are our competitors using these tools?
  • How do we ensure the generated images are on brand for each client?
  • How do we ask AI tools for all the specifics we want to convey?
  • Will the competition have the same images?
  • What are the legal issues?
  • How do we add AI tools to our workflow for optimal efficiency?

Let’s dig into these questions

Your competitors are likely using AI-powered tools like Adobe Generative Fill, Shutterstock AI image generator, and possibly others such as Midjourney and Getty’s Generative AI.

To ensure that the generated images are on-brand for each client, it’s important to use custom datasets and models to train the generative tool to learn specific visuals, such as faces, objects, colors, and styles. However, not all tools have this feature. One way to ensure some level of consistent branding is by using prompts, but this can be tricky as different combinations of prompts can yield completely different results. Documenting the image generative process is a way to ensure that results can be replicated.

When asking AI tools to generate specific images, it’s best to first describe what you’re envisioning in words and sentences. Be as descriptive as possible.

It’s impossible to know if the competition will have the same images. Although there could be similarities, each tool has customization features that should yield different results. Consider the complexity of your prompt. Generic descriptions may result in similar images. Use image editing software to alter your images further to help ensure they’re more unique.

While we’re not legal experts and the laws for AI tools are continually changing, it’s our current understanding that most tools allow the usage of AI generative images for commercial and personal use.

Adding AI tools to enhance your workflow makes a lot of sense. We can use these tools to set the framework for what we envision and then alter the results to fit our needs. You may want to generate a collection of logo ideas, brand colors, and image directions. These tools are great for ideation and for helping to generate specific objects or scenes.

AI generated images

Using AI image generation to perfect an image

Are you looking for a certain angle or perspective? Want a specific mix of subjects? Have a particular scene/time of day in mind? Identify those specifics in the prompt and generate an image.

  • Prompts are the primary way and with some tools (MidJourney) the only way of creating AI generative images.
  • Tools like Leonardo.AI, Automatic1111, and DreamStudio allow for further image modification beyond prompts. Some of these settings include but are not limited to ControlNet, Tiling, Image2Image, Model selector, image treatments/styles, prompt strength, etc.

As we’ve started to use generative AI to assist with image selection, we’ve discovered how to finesse our prompt directions to get the outcomes we want. Among other things, these prompt directions cover subject interests, brand filtering, and scene directions.

Getting comfortable with a new language takes time, patience, and trial and error. We continue refining our software prompt communication skills by defining the creative parameters and securing the imagery that best represents our vision.

AI generated images

What can we do with these new tools?

With certain tools having transitioned from beta testing to commercial availability, it’s important to understand the requirements for each tool before integrating it into your marketing workflow.

While there are many questions and ethical considerations related to the use of some of these tools, several of them are entering the commercially viable arena already.

  • Adobe’s Generative AI Image Fill tool is available now.
  • ShutterStock’s partnership with OpenAI and image generation features is available now.
  • ShutterStock owns the image – you license it.
  • This process requires careful thought and post-production work.

Going forward

We see the use of AI to help create imagery as a breakthrough in the marketing world. Not only does it streamline the time it takes to identify strategic image options, but it also allows us to align the imagery more closely with both the designer’s vision and the brand’s direction, thus perfecting an existing image or idea.