Coca-Cola Opens Itself Up to AI Experimentation

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Imagine an ad featuring a cat, a polar bear and Santa Claus playing poker in space and surrounded by Coca-Colas.

Imagine an ad featuring a cat, a polar bear and Santa Claus playing poker in space and surrounded by Coca-Colas.

That strange visual may actually come to pass as Coca-Cola launches a new initiative, “Create Real Magic,” that invites creators to create visual art using artificial intelligence tools as well as some of the company’s branded assets. 

The program, which will be available for consumers in the United States, Australia, select countries in Europe and elsewhere, will use Open AI products GPT-4, which produces text from search engine queries, and DALL-E, which produces images based on text, to create visuals using some of the brand’s iconic imagery (including the brand’s distinctive contour bottle, script logo and even Santa Claus). The creation engine was built for Coca-Cola by OpenAI and Bain & Company, a result of a new global services alliance launched by the two companies.

“It’s an experiment to see where co-creation can take us,” said Pratik Thakar, global head of creative strategy and integrated content for the Coca-Cola Trademark, in a release. “‘Create Real Magic’ gives digital artists the unique opportunity to play in a custom-created sandbox and democratizes both our brand iconography and highest-profile advertising assets.”

To launch the crowdsourcing campaign, Coca-Cola enlisted four AI artists – Emma Sofija, Chris Branch, Paul Parsons and Ean Hwa Huag – from around the world to create custom art using the platform and brand assets. A video explaining the campaign depicts the creation of an image of “an astronaut reaching for a Coca-Cola in space, cinematic lighting, octane render, red color, lens flare” along with text that is “a poem about enjoying a Coca-Cola in space.”

Through the “Create Real Magic” website, artists will have the opportunity to download their work and submit it to Coca-Cola for the change to be featured on the company’s digital billboards in Times Square and Piccadilly Circus. 

This summer, a group of 30 creators will be selected to travel to The Coca-Cola Company’s global headquarters in Atlanta for a three-day “Real Magic Creative Academy” workshop with the company’s design and creative teams. From that workshop, the artists will co-create content that may be used for the company’s licensed merchandise and digital collectibles. (The participants will be credited for their work.)

The “Create Real Magic” program is just the beginning of Coca-Cola’s experimentation with AI for its business and marketing, said Global Chief Marketing Officer Manolo Arroyo. “We’re just scratching the surface of what we believe will help create the industry’s most effective and efficient end-to-end marketing model,” Arroyo said in a statement. “We see many applications of AI – including content creation and rapid iteration, hyper-personalizing content and messaging for consumers and customers, and driving two-way conversations with consumers.”

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