Meta has announced its first suite of generative AI features for ad creation. Meta says the features, which include AI elements for background generation, image expansion and text variation, will help maximise productivity, personalisation and performance.
Meta’s new AI tools
All three features will call on AI to help marketers dream up creative options for different ad formats via generated images, backgrounds or post captions. The options can be accessed via Meta Ads Manager, and work to help marketers hit different objectives.
Background generation helps marketers create multiple backgrounds to complement an advertiser’s product images. Meta says this will help marketers tailor their creative assets for different audiences.
Marketers can find this option during the creation of Advantage+ catalogue ads, and can opt in to use background generation on product images.
“Background generation is only available for Advantage+ catalogue ads when you select sales as your ad objective and carousel as your ad format. You may see a preview sample of eligible product images with up to four generated backgrounds from your catalogue to help you determine if you want to use this feature.”
It’s important to note that backgrounds are generated based on original product images and you can’t upload your own background or select a preferred background – so for some companies, this might not be right for them.
Advantage+ will show a version of your ad to your audience based on what it thinks is most likely to drive better performance.
Image expansion automatically adjusts creative assets to fit different aspect ratios for different surfaces, such as Feed or Reels – which will let marketers spend less time on repurposing creative assets. Image expansion can also help to automatically optimise images and video to make your audience more likely to interact with them.
For single image or video, optimisations include 3D animation, music, brightness and contrast. Optimisations for carousels include profile end card, dynamic descriptions and relevant comments.
These options are available when using Advantage+ creative in Meta Ads Manager. It’s worth noting that when you use creative optimisations, media and text may be automatically adjusted. According to Meta, auto adjustments are designed to help improve ad performance.
Text variations can also be found in Meta Ads Manager. It generates up to six variations of text based on primary inputs from your ad.
“Text variations highlight keywords from input phrases that you may want to emphasise, enabling you to generate diverse text that increases customisation with less effort.”
Marketers can add up to five variations of primary text and edit any of the generated text versions, which is good news for the grammar sticklers among you! Once the text is finalised, it can be reviewed, and the one that best suits your campaign goal can be chosen.
Meta will then show different combinations of text to different people, depending on what they’re most likely to respond to. One potential downside of this feature is in the reporting, and analytics will only show reporting based on a single ad, not the performance of text variations.
Some effective advertising text options include pricing information, using data to show business value, using a customer review or testimonial quote or asking a question to capture your audience’s attention.
Faster – but maybe not better
In general, these changes should help marketers produce compelling advertising in less time. A survey conducted by Meta showed that generative AI saved advertisers five or more hours a week.
“They’ll [advertisers] be able to create multiple asset variations with the click of a button, reducing time spent between creative and media teams on time-consuming editing tasks and allowing for more strategic work.”
Generative AI can also help to introduce new ad creative to audiences faster. Yet, as is the problem with all generative AI, it can only produce based on what has come before. So, while content creation may be quicker, it won’t be as unique.
With that in mind, generative AI could be a useful tool but shouldn’t be the only tool in a marketer’s kit. The human brain is still the best way to produce unique, creative and compelling content.
What does the future hold for Meta and generative AI?
That’s not all folks! Meta is just getting started with generative AI and plans to offer more ways to generate ad copy in the future. It is also working on ways to bring AI to Messenger and WhatsApp to help businesses engage with customers.
“We plan to offer advertisers more ways to generate ad copy to highlight product selling points or generate background images in minutes with tailored themes, like outdoor images for an athleisure brand. And as we shared at Connect, businesses will soon be able to use AIs for business messaging on Messenger and WhatsApp to engage with customers – helping with commerce, engagement and support, unlocking instant conversational responses. We’re testing with a small number of businesses in Alpha and plan to scale it further next year.”