Text-to-picture service DALL-E is getting a big boost.
Microsoft announced during its Ignite Conference this week that it’s integrating DALL-E 2 with its new Microsoft Designer app and Image Creator tool in Bing and Microsoft Edge web browsers.
How will @satyanadella surprise us today?
— Micros🎃ft (@Microsoft) October 12, 2022
It’s a smart move from Microsoft with the growth of Al image generators. OpenAI, the creators of DALL-E 2, said in September that more than 1.5 million users were actively creating over 2 million images a day with DALL-E 2, including artists, creative directors, and authors.
“Microsoft and OpenAI have partnered closely since 2019 to accelerate breakthroughs in AI. We have teamed up with OpenAI to develop, test, and responsibly scale the latest AI technologies,” Microsoft CVP of modern life, search and devices Liat Ben-Zur told TechCrunch via email.
Microsoft also announced Designer, a Canva-like web app that can generate designs for presentations, posters, and digital postcards, Company representatives say the program will leverage user-created content and DALL-E 2 for designs with templates for Instagram, LinkedIn Facebook ads, and Instagram Stories.
You provide the idea and let AI do the rest. Now available for early access: https://t.co/oHPtOnXowF
— Micros🎃ft (@Microsoft) October 12, 2022
Prebuilt templates are available from the web along with shapes, photos, icons, and headings that can be added to projects.
Designer will be free during a preview period but will be included in Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions.
Why it matters: DALL-E 2’s partnership with Microsoft is a great step forward for brands and communicators. Microsoft Designer’s additional services along with DALL-E 2’s influence should be a natural fit.
How Gannett’s mandatory furloughs, volunteer buyouts will impact comms pros
Gannett is requiring its workers to take one week of unpaid leave in December and is also asking for buyout volunteers.
CEO Mike Reed said the company will pause hiring and temporarily suspend employee 401(k) matching contributions starting October 24.
New: memo from Gannett CEO Mike Reed announcing “voluntary severance” and other austerity measures at the company: pic.twitter.com/8oqKXBmpOE
— Ben Mullin (@BenMullin) October 12, 2022
“These are truly challenging times,” Reed said in a company-wide email to workers on Wednesday. “The company continues to face headwinds and uncertainty from the deteriorating macroeconomic environment which has led the executive team to take further immediate action.”
Gannett is the biggest newspaper chain in the U.S. with over 200 print newspapers papers but has had its financial issues recently. The company reported a loss of $54 million in its second-quarter financial report. The company has seen its stock drop 77% since last year and is currently paying $1 billion in debt from its 2019 merger with Gatehouse Media, according to Poynter
Gannett announced two months ago that it had laid off 400 workers and eliminated 400 open positions. No word was given Wednesday on how many buyouts the company was seeking this month.
Why it matters: Communications professionals are likely to see more reporters and editors leave the newspaper chain that includes USA TODAY and 200 local publications. These journalists are unlikely to be replaced. And that trend is likely to continue. Expect to see continued shrinkage in traditional newspaper outlets for media placements. This will also lead to more difficulty for brands to reach local markets.
Editor’s note: Chris Pugh previously worked for Gannett.
Bob the Drag Queen gives Amazon a hit with TikTok promoting Prime Early Access
Amazon worked with Christopher Tidicue, who is better known as Bob the Drag Queen, to help promote this week’s Prime Early Access sale.
A TikTok video released Wednesday shows Tidicue reading a book and drinking coffee in his living room when the doorbell rings.
It’s giving ‘Holiday deals before anyone else.’ #PrimeEarlyAccessSale is now on.
Amazon’s TikTok video has done well with Bob the Drag Queen’s popularity, gaining 5.9 million views since its release. The TikTok worked since the company used an influencer who is well known to his audience.
Study: Gen Z and millennial audiences interested in inclusion issues
A new Disqo study makes the case that communications professionals should pay more attention to Gen Z and Millennials views on DE&I.
“Our findings underscored the need to better connect DE&I and brand purpose with holistic CX,” Disqo said in their study. “Importantly, we also learned that brands must give strategic focus to the youngest adult audiences, those 18-24 years old, Millennials and Gen Zers who have grown up very differently from prior generations. It’s already well established that they have higher expectations and want brands to operate with purpose and authenticity.”
The study found that:
- 70% of Millennial and Gen Z respondents said it’s important that ad content is made inclusively.
- 85% consider a brand’s social or political activities when making purchases.
- 58% of GenZers and Millennials have not bought from a brand because they disagree with their stance on an issue and 50% went out of their way to buy a product because the brand supported an issue important to them.
Why it matters: The study says more Gen Z and millennial audiences are looking for more inclusive ads and that these decisions influence their buying decisions. It’s something that smart communicators should consider moving forward.