AI-generated search ads are coming to Google

Conversational tools are set to help create campaigns, and product images.

Google sign

Do you wish there was a way to take content from a website and automatically turn it into an ad?

It may sound like magic to a marketer, but Google is harnessing generative AI to do just that.

New tools from the search giant announced at Google Marketing Live this week are set to provide conversational experiences for creating campaigns and generating high-quality images. This comes as Google is getting ready to roll out Merchant Center Next, a new platform offering marketers a central place to manage campaigns.

The product launch is one of the more compelling examples we’ve seen of ChatGPT-like tools being put to work for commerce.

Let’s take a closer look:

Conversational campaign creation

Generative AI is set to help advertisers create new search campaigns. Here’s how it works, according to Google:

Simply add a preferred landing page from your website and Google AI will summarize the page. Then, it will generate relevant and effective keywords, headlines, descriptions, images and other assets for your campaign. You can review and easily edit these suggestions before deploying. Now, you can chat your way into better performance — ask Google AI for ideas, just like you might ask a colleague.

This feature will leverage automatically created assets, which generate content from landing pages and existing ads. Generative AI will help to adapt search ads to content. For the search “skin care for dry sensitive skin,” Google could create the ad “Soothe Your Dry, Sensitive Skin.”

In Performance Max ads, AI will take content from a website, and generate text, new images and other assets.

AI-created images with Product Studio

Google is rolling out Product Studio, a new tool that helps marketers to create product imagery using generative AI. Located within Merchant Center Next, it’s designed to help bring high-quality images to ads, and not just one. When two or more images are included with ads, Google said there is a 76% improvement in impressions and 32% increase in clicks. But creating these images can be expensive and time-consuming, especially when photoshoots are involved.

With Product Studio, marketers can:

Create custom product scenes that can change based on needs, whether that’s due to seasonal, campaign-based or experimental needs. “For example, a skincare company could highlight a special seasonal version of a product by requesting an image of the product ‘surrounded by peaches, with tropical plants in the background,'" Google writes.

Remove a product background when it proves distracting to opt for a plain white background.

Increase resolution, providing a way to improve quality without taking a new photo.

Simplifying product feed setup

Within Merchant Center Next, Google is also aiming to make it easier for merchants to set up a product feed. Instead of manually adding all of the elements required for a listing, Merchant Center Next will automatically populate the product feed with elements that can be detected from a brand’s website.

Google will also add all insights reports to the performance tab of Merchant Center Next. That means there will be one place to view the best-sellers, across both Google channels and brick-and-mortar stores.

These features are set to start rolling out as Merchant Center Next is expanded to more businesses in the coming months.

Generative AI in search

Generative AI won't just reshape how search ads are created. It is also poised to change search itself.

Some of the first signs of the latter are arriving via Search Labs, a program with early experiments that Google is starting to open this week.

"The new generative AI powered Search experience will help you take some of the work out of searching, so you can understand a topic faster, uncover new viewpoints and insights and get things done more easily," Google wrote. "So instead of asking a series of questions and piecing together that information yourself, Search now can do some of that heavy lifting for you."

Google outlined areas that it is testing in three areas, including commerce:

Product discovery while shopping: AI will help to provide details on specific attributes of products, such as “Peel and stick wallpaper for kitchen," or specific settings it can be used, such as “Bluetooth speaker for a pool party." In response to these questions, Google will provide a range of product options. It is also providing space to ask a follow-up question.

Complex topics: AI can help get users up to speed on specific binary choices such as “Learning ukulele vs guitar," or multistep processes like “Benefits of incorporating your business before freelancing.” Typically, these types of searches would need to be broken down into smaller parts.

Quick tips: AI will provide answers to questions that you want to answer for every day life, such as “How to get an old coffee stain out of a wool sweater?” or “How can I renew my passport quickly?”

Subscribe to The Current Newsletter

Trending in Marketing


US imports expected to fall 22% in first half of 2023: NRF

Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.

aerial view of boat on water
Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.

That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

Keep reading...Show less

Latest from Marketing