Coke invites users to Create Real Magic with AI – sharp marketing lessons for every marketer

Published: March 21, 2023

min read

A few weeks ago, Coke announced that it was going to tie up with Bain & Company to explore the use of AI, creating a huge amount of anticipatory buzz in the industry and among its fan-base.

The wait is over.

In a bid to boost the creativity of its marketing efforts, Coke has now announced a competition where creators from 17 different countries can create digital art using AI tools and Coke icons and upload these to a micro-site,

The winning pieces will hit the billboards in New York Time’s Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus. The brand also says that 30 artists chosen from those who send in their work will be hand-picked to attend the ‘Real Magic Creative Academy,’ a three-day workshop at Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta, this summer.

The competition is open through March 31st.

This campaign makes Coke the first brand to use the latest versions of OpenAI’s DALL-E and ChatGPT to create AI-brd artwork.

On, people can work with some of Coke's incredible iconic visual assets – these include the contour bottle, its Spencerian script logo and its Santa Claus and Polar Bears figures – and throw in some creativity of their own.

The team behind this campaign includes ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, Bain, influencer artists and OpenX, which is WPP's dedicated Coke agency.

Our company is embracing the power of digital in every aspect of our business, and ‘Create Real Magic’ is a way to invite even more people to join us. We invite fans of Coke to experiment and create their own, totally unique AI-brd artwork using this innovative new platform.

Manolo Arroyo,

Global Chief Marketing Officer for Coke

What we think about this

Everyone knows that the Coke Company is the world’s largest beverage company, with more than 500 still and sparkling brands, sold in over 200 countries. Coke is its leading brand. A brand of that size doesn’t sit back and enjoy its number one position – but keeps doing what it takes to keeps its existing customer base engaged and happy, and fuel interest among prospects.

Lesson one – complacency leads to failure.

When a brand of that magnitude decides to tap into the spectacular power of AI – everyone takes notice. Everyone expects, anticipates, and tries to predict the next move of the mammoth beverage maker. Expectations soar! And a lot of interest builds for the brand and its activities. The sense of anticipation and expectation created is potent. Interest grows exponentially – in customers, prospects, even just random by-standers. Everyone wants to know what is going to happen!

Lesson two – work to get your brand some top of mind recall.

And when they finally announce that it is a competition (who doesn’t love one!), is restricted to only 17 countries (yes! It is an exclusive thing), it lets users play with AI (all the rage right now), and some iconic visual assets (ooo toys!), everyone is hooked.

Lesson three – User engagement is pivotal to brand success.

Despite all the hype and the expectation that only a Coke with AI can possibly conjure, let us keep in mind that working with AI is still all very experimental. It could very well swing either way. So what does Coke do? It facilitates co-creation!

It’s an experiment to see where co-creation can take us. We’re moving at the speed of culture with an innovative program that’s very tangible for the creative community. ‘Create Real Magic’ gives digital artists the unique opportunity to play in a custom-created sandbox, powered by GPT-4 and DALL-E, and democratizes both our brand iconography and highest-profile advertising assets.

Pratik Thakar,

Coke’s global head of creative strategy and integrated content

Lesson four – speed of culture = audience involvement. Remember it’s a creator economy?

We are sure that there is a lot more magic in store in the future when it comes to Coke’s dalliance with AI. But for now, it’s got everyone’s hearts racing, and juice flowing and the attention of just about everyone, on Coke. Who doesn’t want one’s work on a billboard in Time’s Square?

Lesson Five – Be like Coke :)


Grace Wang

Grace is an advertising professional who keeps abreast of the latest and greatest in the marketing and advertising space. She is a traditionalist in lifestyle and modernist in her profession. Outside of marketing and advertising, she helps younger generation try and adapt traditional lifestyle for a healthy living.


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