“Just the beginning”: Showpo partners with Meta to trial 3D models

Showpo has commenced a new trial today, using artificial intelligence to generate automated and inclusive ad creative using 3D models.

The new advertising trial is in partnership with Meta, which Showpo founder Jane Lu tells SmartCompany is inline with the digital retailers aim to provide customers with an efficient and innovative shopping experience.

Showpo is also hoping to show more diversity to customers via Meta’s platforms, and grow the business in the US market.

The trial will run for four weeks, and will allow Showpo customers to see models of different sizes and ethnicities wearing various clothing items.

As Lu explains, by using real model photography and real products shot on mannequins, Showpo can be sure that the 3D assets “provide an authentic shopping experience for the consumer”.

“By partnering with Vue AI, the real assets can be AI generated in bulk exploring how the 3D models look in different outfits and creative concepts to build an ad ecosystem powered by AI imagery,” Lu says.

“This technology is trained to replicate the features of the garment accurately, understand the way in which the garment would fall naturally on a human body and adjust to the models pose and height differences.”

Digital-first diversity

Our digital-first, hyper-connected world is often looking for ways to be more inclusive and promote better diversity, but for retailers, shooting catalogue photography on multiple models can be a very expensive process.

This means having a diverse range of models is often not commercially viable for most businesses, Lu explains, saying this financing issue is a “major factor in why the industry has not been able to move more ahead in this space”.

However, “AI models allow for use of a more diverse range of models at scale as one outfit can easily be shot and applied to a wider variety of models that fit our diverse size range of 4-20”.

The partnership with Meta and Vue AI models will provide Showpo with access to a diverse range of global talents, who — rather than being paid shoot-by-shoot — charge a yearly licensing fee that “wouldn’t be possible before [this] technology”.

“Working with them benefits both parties,” Lu said.

“Just the beginning”

While other brands have begun to use 3D and AI models in their own operations — predominately in the US — Lu says Showpo is the first Australian brand to go to market with this ad technology.

The trial will run for four weeks, but Lu believes AI models will become a new, possibly permanent production tool for Showpo, in order to “accelerate e-commerce efforts and help us generate multipurpose digital assets at scale”.

Lu and the Showpo team also anticipate further collaborations with both Meta and other organisations to “stay on the forefront of innovation in a very fast moving digital market, including taking advantage of their various partially-funded testing opportunities”.

“This is just the beginning with more opportunities and projects already in the works to provide new ways to market our products as a digital first brand,” Lu said.

Showpo will judge the success of its AI model advertising through return-on-ad-spend, click-through rates and conversions.

“Should they prove successful at driving traffic and conversions, we will have the opportunity to repurpose the 3D AI model outputs in new campaigns or in our ads in the Australian market,” Lu said.

The story is originally published on Smart Company.

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