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Google releases GenAI Creative Agent for designers, marketers

Google plants its stake in the marketing and advertising vertical with a bot tuned to help creatives craft campaigns, storyboards, images and text with generative AI.

Amid the tsunami of generative AI releases and previews coming today at Google Cloud Next was Creative Agent, an image- and text-generation bot that signals Google is ready to compete with the likes of Adobe, Microsoft and even Canva for the hearts of tech-minded marketing and advertising designers.

Creative Agent is part of Google's enterprise Vertex AI platform, which now has a "model garden" of about 130 different types of AI models -- including Creative Agent -- configured for particular uses, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said. Subscribers can utilize large language models from Google, Mistral, Anthropic and other vendors, as well as new prompt-generation tools.

In a Creative Agent demo, Nenshad Bardoliwalla, director of product management for Google Vertex AI, showed text-to-image capabilities mashing up stock images with product images stored on a hypothetical customer's Google Drive. In Bardoliwalla's example, the bot showed the customer's tents set in different popular outdoor landmarks such as Machu Picchu in Peru and Half Dome in California's Yosemite National Park.

Creative Agent can take projects further, including the capability to develop storyboards for advertising and marketing campaigns. Other platforms such as Adobe Creative Cloud and Sitecore offer tools with similar functionality; each -- including Google's -- requires different subscription sets and customer bandwidth to train and tune up the bots to produce usable results.

Sample creative images generated with Google Vertex AI.
Google's Creative Agent can be configured to create images for marketers and advertisers from text prompts.

Google made the case that it differentiates itself by integrating the feature in its Workspace platform and making it usable for nontechnical business users.

"Because we have the agent builder able to access all of the various Google Cloud technologies, I'm able to actually go directly into Workspace in my agent," Bardoliwalla said. "The whole power of collaboration that you get with Google Slides, for example, is now available inside this agent as well."

Maybe a boon, not a threat to creatives

It might seem counterintuitive at first blush that creatives such as graphic designers and advertising or marketing campaign managers embrace such tools, because the tools automate a large part of creatives' work and could potentially pose a threat to their jobs.

Constellation Research analyst Liz Miller said it's quite the opposite: Creatives still produce the ideas, and automated images and text can get their designs 90% finished in a small fraction of the time. It could eventually turn out to be one of those use cases that fulfill AI's promise to eliminate drudgery while letting workers focus on work that requires their competencies more of the time.

"You're a designer who does an amazing sketch, and you import that as a style reference. All of a sudden, you get four options that are based on that style, and you're like, 'Oh, OK, I'm going to download that one and import that into my design platform of choice,'" Miller said. "As a creative who's working in an enterprise, I'm getting 80% of the time back. What would have taken me days now takes me a couple hours. That's a really great value proposition within an agency."

Google's Kurian said ad agency customers have given "very positive feedback" to preview demos of Creative Agent. Pricing information can be found here for Google generative AI and here for Vertex AI overall.

Don Fluckinger is a senior news writer for TechTarget Editorial. He covers customer experience, digital experience management and end-user computing. Got a tip? Email him.

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