A picture can say a thousand words, and this is especially true when it comes to advertising. And AdWords is expanding their reach with the search results ads by now allowing advertisers to use image extensions with their ads so that images may show up along with the AdWords ads.
It's beta, and is officially called the image extensions beta. Here's an example:
Google says that one in six searches give results with visual content – this would include things like image search results, news story thumbnail images, and YouTube videos. And images in search ads is something that advertisers have been asking for as long as AdWords ads have existed. Google feels that images can convey details that text ads might not, such as colors and designs.
Google will display images when they feel the context of the search is one where users are likely to want images in their results. They use the example that image extensions are more likely to show for searches such as [luxury car designs] rather than [locations of nearby car dealerships].
It is important to note that you must have the rights for the photos you wish to use, so you can likely expect to see some issues arising in the future regarding things like affiliate product images or other copyright images that sellers wish to use, or that companies might want the monopoly on.
The image extensions beta is English only, but available globally. In order to get into the beta, you need to contact your account manager, or fill out this form to request an invite.