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Generative AI for the Holidays: Auto-Edit Visual Assets and Save Months in Planning

For retail brands it’s like you can set your watch to the annual holiday-prep cycle. The first quarter of the year, you’re assessing the previous season’s results while ideating and designing for the next. By late spring/early summer, suppliers are delivering materials and manufacturing goes into full swing. By mid-year, marketing teams start the months-long process of creating full-scale holiday marketing campaigns, an activity that includes a complete makeover of nearly every digital image and video along with the creation of hundreds to many thousands more. 

Amid all this commotion, the countdown clock ticks louder as the end of the year nears. 

Good news is, these days retail brands now have generative AI to take on editing tasks and auto-generate new holiday content. 

Here are four ways generative AI can make your annual holiday-prep cycle more efficient..

First FinalTouch, the latest from New Ventures, Cloudinary’s new tech incubator. FinalTouch is an assistive creativity platform designed for product image creation. Applied generative AI features takes simple product images and relocates that item in a pre-specified environment. Editing tools would make it possible to customize, iterate, and produce product images at scale, without the cost of specialized design expertise or photography. 

Brands can manipulate digital images on their marketing channels through a function called Generative Replace, part of Cloudinary’s programmatic media solutions. For the holidays, a home goods brand, for example, can access in-house images of room settings in their library. Your team can find an image they like, take a piece of art on the wall that maybe is a stylish painting, and replace the image with a decorative holiday scene. Similarly, the brand can take an orchid on a table and swap it out with a seasonal poinsettia. The technology isolates items and replaces them seamlessly. 

Another generative AI feature, brands can automatically highlight and remove elements from an image. For example, an e-commerce site wants to reuse and update an older holiday scene-setting image from its library but there’s an element in the background that dates the image. Cloudinary’s Generative Remove function can add a remove command and instantly bring new life to an older asset. 

Cloudinary’s generative AI function called Generative Fill works alongside Generative Remove and Generative Replace applications, providing digital teams numerous ways to update imagery and video for a holiday campaign. In this case, the AI uses a function called “outpainting,” where the technology can add content around the edges of an image. So, a fashion brand with a model in an image can have more holiday decorative imagery added around the edges. The additions are automatically blended smoothly into the original image. The tool also auto-crops to make the image work better with the added content. 

While Generative Recolor from Cloudinary is an ideal time-saver for daily use of auto-improving visual assets, the tool can be used to brighten (or darken) a photo for the holiday season. The tool saves marketing teams time coloring photos after a photo shoot, it can also be used to manipulate the coloring of an image to fit a mood. For example, a brand’s e-commerce site with lifestyle images can play with color to darken a sunny image to make it look less summery or give it new tones for a wintry mood. 

Cloudinary and FinalTouch are advancing ways brands can use generative AI as a tool that handles mundane tasks like coloring photos and cropping images. Additionally, the tools add creative possibilities through replace, fill, remove, and coloring functions.

The tools can help speed up holiday preparations while aiding in the sustainable reuse of in-house images and video. 

Sign up today for a free Cloudinary account and see how visual editing can greatly improve holiday programs.

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