Any ideas on why the rejection?

Looking for opinions why…
Thanks in advance!

It’s decent, but there’s definitely room for improvement. It generally looks too fake, like it looks like a 3D render, which for use as a mockup isn’t really something that’s a good thing.

The material on the mug is too flat, maybe try adding a VERY subtle noise texture to only the defuse, nothing that’s immediately noticable, but I might help with making it a bit more real. The specular might also be a little too high, try reducing it slightly to allow for slightly larger highlights.

Try adjusting the lighting a bit so there’s a highlight along the side of the mug.

Usually you’d see a bit of the background reflected in the mug, which I understand is difficult to have since the background is customizable, but see if you can figure it out. No reflection or even colour bouncing onto the mug really makes it look like it doesnt belong as part of the scene.

The coffee inside the mug is also very flat, and doesnt look real. If you look at photos of coffee in mugs, you’ll often see small brown bubbles around the edge, as well as a subtle brown colour around the edge. Maybe as an added effect you could have some subtle steam coming from the coffee, to help with the fresh look.

The background is flat, which makes sense since it’s just a flat color, but again, adding some subtle texture, like a bit of noise can really help make it real by adding some “fake” detail. I also don’t really like the idea of it just sitting in an empty single coloured void, no clear floor or walls, which is good in some cases, but I think it could really help if you had another variation with a wall in behind the mug, nothing drastic, just the same colour and material, but catching some light to show it’s there.

For the preview image, don’t just write about how you can customize it, show it. Show some different colour variations, and different logos, illustrations, text, etc. on the mug itself.

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Awesome thanks for taking the time! I’ll implement those and try it again.

i would personally add to the very complete review of @XioxGraphix that some shadows could be added for the thing to be realistic as there is none under the mugs which basically does not make the thing looks very realistic when it comes to having an object being places on a surface , in my view