Why marketing experts are using CGI to streamline their marketing

September 28, 2023

If you’re a fan of sci-fi action films, action films, or even just films then you’ll hopefully be somewhat aware of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery). Whilst it may help directors like J.J.Abrams, transport audiences to deep space or.. beam up Scotty - you may not realise quite how many businesses and marketing experts are using CGI as a flexible solution to some of their most complex marketing needs.

And while the idea of using CGI might seem intimidating, unnecessarily complex or too expensive - this post will explore why and how your business can use CGI as part of its marketing and website experience.

Norfolk Rum uses a full screen CGI animation on their homepage to highlight their beautiful foil label -

How is CGI being used online today?

Anyone who’s worked on a product marketing campaign will tell you compelling imagery is one of the most important assets to creating customer experiences that drive action. Whether it be part of your website or in a digital campaign CGI can be a powerful tool - allowing businesses to depict and demonstrate their products or services in more provocative, memorable and often cost-effective ways than traditional photoshoots can accomplish.

Take IKEA for example, it’s reported that CGI is being used to populate imagery for over 75% of their current product offering. Why are they moving away from traditional photoshoots? Fast Company had this to say:

“The best special effects are often the ones you never notice — which may make Ikea the most skilful special effects studio in the world. The Swedish furniture company has been aggressively ramping up its use of computer-generated imagery in their catalogues. Ikea's first CG photo was a Bertil pinewood chair in 2006. By 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that 25% of their products were CG. Today, that figure has ballooned to 75%.”

CGI not only allows product marketers to complete realistic photoshoots in less time, the technology also allows service and technology businesses to populate their brand’s online presence with eye-catching, explanative imagery and video that drives action.

Businesses that have already shifted to CGI often find they’re better able to create compelling emotional responses in their audiences, an important ingredient missing in many digital campaigns and key to creating engagement and driving action.

The benefits of using CGI mean it’s not just IKEA and J.J.Abrams putting it to work. Healthcare, Technology and even Food and Drink brands are utilising CGI on their websites and throughout their online presence to turn their audiences into customers.

So how can your brand use CGI to better connect with your audiences and customers?

Bring your website to life with CGI

Your businesses website is often one of the first interactions customers will have with your brand. First impressions matter more than ever. In fact, you may just have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression. 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. CGI provides an excellent way of creating striking lead graphics that capture attention on your website. Motion graphics can take that advantage to the next level by creating a vivid, emotional introduction to your product or service.

Optimise your imaging process

Preparing, correcting and optimising photographs of your product imagery into the image collateral that lives on your website can be more than difficult — it can be downright discouraging.

Whether you’re struggling to get the lighting highlights wrapped correctly around your packaging without it covering key information and logos or your spending hours delicately removing tiny specs of dust from your product, traditional post-production methods have been giving online marketers headaches for many years. And those headaches now come in the form of blown deadlines and missed opportunities.

CGI allows you to create pixel-perfect imagery and video (no matter the industry) that can be entirely customised, reframed, re-lit and reformatted to allow for any website experience whether e-commerce or service-based.

Evoking a feeling

CGI can do a lot more than simply improve your marketing cycle and process - it can help your audiences and customers experience your brand. Whether that’s communicating something about the lifestyle your brand helps customers achieve or demonstrating the expertise and quality of service customers can expect.

Creating the correct mood around your product imagery can be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking. Arranging a photoshoot to highlight an entire bedroom scene can be extremely expensive - and then you’ll have to spend time and effort ensuring your presenting your product in the best possible light.

Utilising CGI allows you to create full-tilt scenes, in any location, that highlight your products greatest assets, while also creating the right buying atmosphere for your customers.

Capture the future

CGI offers brands an opportunity to go beyond what is possible in physical shoots. You can build your own locations and sets, explore the way light works, and even construct alternate realities. But to make the most of CGI, brands need to be aware of what’s possible. Companies often create concepts from a position of current knowledge, but speaking to experts before devising a campaign can lead to more exciting and innovative ideas.

Specialist studios know what CGI can offer, and can provide fresh new ways to approach a brief. CGI is a versatile production process that can adapt to many visual approaches, whether it’s fully illustrative - explaining a technology or service, photo-realistic – or anywhere in between. The beauty of the process is that concepts can be created and modified quickly and both the technical and creative aspects can be explored thoroughly to find the perfect balance for your collateral.

Without CGI, films like Jurassic Park simply were not possible. It’s clear Hollywood isn’t going back to creating movies the old way, and just like them, brands such as Ikea, Apple, Samsung, Novellini, and even Volvo, will continue to set the tone for the world of online retail.


Not every online business is ready to make CGI a core part of its marketing workflow, however, as CGI evolves into an everyday tool used by top marketing teams, it will be important for all companies — from small businesses to enterprise-level organisations — to evaluate the cost-saving benefits that CGI can provide to their firms, as well as the benefits that come with CGI being able to empower company branding and customer engagement.

Whether you’re currently capable of using CGI in online retail is of course up to your own judgement, but don’t be too apprehensive. CGI can offer incredible advances in content efficiency, effective merchandising, and user experience.

Get in touch with PIXELSILO today to find out how we can use CGI to improve content efficiency, drive website engagement and create memorable user experiences that convert.