IBM deploying Adobe Firefly generative AI tool for marketing, design teams

IBM began using Adobe Firefly internally last year and has broadened its use as the generative AI tool developed further

Tech giant IBM announced Wednesday that it is deploying Adobe Firefly generative artificial intelligence (AI) tool across its design and marketing teams to boost productivity.

Billy Seabrook, global chief design officer at IBM Consulting, told FOX Business in an interview that the company's design teams have been working with Firefly since it launched last year and have gradually expanded their use of the tool in the past year in advance of Wednesday's announcement. 

"We have upwards of 20,000 people enabled on Adobe Creative Cloud, so we've been experimenting with Firefly since its inception back in March of last year when it was in beta doing internal experimentation primarily, understanding what the capabilities of the tool are," Seabrook said. "When it went [general availability], we went through the process of evaluating the tool and ultimately made the decision to deploy it across all of our practitioners in its current state."


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IBM is deploying the Adobe Firefly generative AI tool throughout its marketing and design teams. (Photo by Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Seabrook explained that during the initial internal pilot phase, IBM's design teams used Firefly to find ways to use the tool to augment its approach to the design process.

"How can you accelerate the ideation process by coming up with vast amounts of ideas and creative stimulus, all the way through to creating prototypes or storyboards of an idea on a journey map, if you will," Seabrook said.

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As Adobe Firefly's capabilities have improved following its launch last year and the model moved to 2.0 with new functionality like style matching, IBM's design teams expanded their use of the AI tool.

"We've expanded and also integrated into some of the core tools like Photoshop and Illustrator. We expanded our use of it accordingly. So we started to take advantage of the generative fill capabilities and what have you in our typical production process," Seabrook said. "It wasn't just an ideation, kind of inspiration tool – it became an actual productivity tool in terms of creating content at scale."


IBM Adobe Firefly

IBM is using Adobe Firefly for consulting with clients about marketing and content needs. (Courtesy of Adobe / Getty Images)

IBM is using Adobe Firefly with its internal teams to create IBM-branded materials, and Seabrook said the company used it for a social media campaign.

"We did a great social media campaign last year as an experiment. It was a nice, tight creative concept that took advantage of the benefits of generative AI, specifically Firefly. We did this concept around textures – texturing an image, a symbol – and the variety that came out was great. The productivity improvements were huge and it performed really well, it was a great example of personalization at scale," Seabrook said.


IBM Adobe Firefly AI

IBM is using the Adobe Firefly AI tool to create branded marketing content. (Courtesy of Adobe / Getty Images)

IBM's consulting teams are also using Firefly to help external clients leverage the generative AI tool to come up with content and creative concepts, as well as setting up internal workflows and governance models to adopt AI responsibly.

"If they want to ingest their style guides and their image library into an AI model in a way that's not training the underlying model, it's proprietary protected data, we're helping them strategize how to do that with Firefly to ensure that the output is on-brand," Seabrook explained. 

"That's a concern of theirs as well. It's not only a creative quality metric, but it's also sort of a brand relevancy metric that we're helping them with and actually getting to the point of coaching them on how to do prompt engineering so that they can get the output from the tool using the language that the model really understands and reflects the brand the best," he added.


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Adobe has provided software services to IBM and the partnership between the firms is deepening with the broader use of Adobe Firefly. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Seabrook added that IBM's use of Adobe Firefly and deploying it more broadly is "the next evolution of our partnership with Adobe," noting that IBM is a big customer of theirs in terms of using software as well as using the marketing cloud and marketing transformation.

"I think with this innovation of AI, I think we're able to create a really compelling value proposition that transforms these marketing organizations. And ultimately this North Star of delivering personalization at scale, which has been sort of the holy grail of marketing for decades, we're very optimistic that the capabilities of AI might unlock that for us," Seabrook said.