Did Wacom use AI-generated images in their latest ad?
A video on TikTok has accused Wacom of using AI-generated images in their latest New Year’s advertisement. The video was posted by TikToker and artist MeganRoseRuiz a day ago, and has so far amassed over 600,000 views on the platform.
Wacom needs little introduction and is known as one of the leading companies that make pens and drawing tablets for digital artists and photographers. In recent years they have been lagging behind their competition. However, this latest faux-pas could put the nail in the coffin for the tablet brand, at least amongst the artist community.
Year of the Dragon (with a detached tail)
The images show different Chinese dragon-inspired illustrations. The quality of the images is, at best, a bit shonky. One of the dragons has a tail that doesn’t quite attach to its body. Another has some pretty bizarre-looking teeth. Or are they hair? I actually can’t tell, that’s how bad it is!
Megan continues to point out other strange details, including areas of white that look as though the image was poorly cut out from a background, and other missing features. Overall, the quality of the drawings indicates that these were created using AI image generators.
A punch in the gut to creatives
Admittedly, these images aren’t photographs. However, if these images are indeed AI-generated, it is a little galling to artists and photographers alike. We are all currently feeling the pressure of AI-generated images pressing down on our future income, and an endorsement from a company of this size doesn’t sit well.
Artists and photographers buy and use Wacom products extensively for their work, and these tablets and pens don’t come cheap. If a company this influential ditches commissioning real human artists, it will feel like a huge blow to the very people who use (and buy) the product.
No business model
Several people on X have pointed out that Wacom is effectively cutting off its own nose here. “If AI takes over,” Henning Sanden rightly says, “Wacom has literally no business model.”
Essentially, Wacom will have no more artists to buy their products. Now, admittedly, Wacom has a huge business which also includes signature pads for offices and banks, so maybe they aren’t too bothered about poor, starving artists.
I believe that this slap in the face to artists and photographers could push more people away from buying Wacom products in future. I, for one, will not be going back to Wacom when other, more reliable and cheaper alternatives exist.
Other commenters echoed this sentiment, with one stating, “This just cemented that I am not getting another Wacom tablet.”
DIYP reached out to Wacom’s marketing director to confirm whether the images were created using AI technology, but so far, we have not had an answer.
Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe