How to Use AI for Marketing and Duplicate Engagement? Coca-Cola Case Study

Just a week after OpenAI unveiled GPT-4 technology, while the whole world was still gathering impressions and panicking about whether AI would take over, Coca-Cola boldly stepped forward and invited digital artists around the world to share their vision of the brand, using artificial intelligence.

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Illustration: L. T.

About the “Create Real Magic” campaign 

More specifically, the collaboration between the two companies was announced back in February, so it’s no surprise that Coca-Cola had a ready response to the launch of this revolutionary technology. However, since this is something that no one has done before and whose adoption by a wider audience was uncertain, this move also involved taking a big risk. 

Not only that, the campaign, called “Create Real Magic,” has given interested digital artists access to Coca-Cola’s visual archives, as well as the distinctive Spencerian Script font used for the brand logo. 

During the campaign, which lasted until March 31, around 110 digital artists from 17 countries responded to the call and created original visuals with the help of artificial intelligence, namely DALL-E and GPT-4 developed by OpenAI. 

The submitted works can be viewed on the dedicated website of the

About the process of creating artwork 

What is crucial for a campaign of this type to be successful is to provide basic prerequisites that guarantee accessibility to a large number of interested candidates. Guided by this, the process of creating a visual part through the Coca-Cola platform was extremely simple and intuitive, yet it enabled endless possibilities of creative expression, refinement and modification. In addition, the GPT-4 technology itself works in such a way that it is impossible to create two identical, or even very similar, results. 

In other words, although digital artists had access to the same archive, used the same platform and responded to the same goal, each of the submitted works is different, original and represents an authentic expression of the author, even though it was entirely created online, with the help of AI. 

So, when asked if it is possible to create authentic visual work with the help of AI, which will produce the same satisfaction as if it were constantly manual, in the traditional way, the answer is – judging by the received works – yes. 

In the end, AI tools based on the text-to-image principle are another tool that allows individuals and brands to better express their ideas and vision. The reason AI tools have caused so much confusion in recent months is because they are incomparably more advanced than anything so far, but also because their use does not require technical prior knowledge or the multitude of hours invested in mastering a particular program, as is the case with, for example, Adobe Photoshop. 

The process of creating artwork looked like this: 

  1. After the artist has accessed the dedicated platform, he/she needs to click on the featured “Create” button to start the process of creating artwork
  2. A new window will open that provides a glimpse of the rich archive of Coca-Cola visuals, including distinctive elements such as polar bear, Santa Claus, retro glass bottle, and many others; 
  3. After the user selects the desired element, manipulates them in a similar way as in photoshop program – can erase the existing background, combine layers, and the like; 
  4. Here we come to the real magic: the use of prompts. In the search box, it is necessary for the user to enter the desired prompt, with an unlimited number of iterations and specifics; 
  5. In just a few seconds, several different examples of the desired visual will appear, with the primarily selected Coca-Cola element in focus; 
  6. After selecting one of the displayed visuals, the user can continue to enter the prompts in order to obtain the original inscription or slogan that corresponds to the idea; 
  7. The described steps can be repeated countless times, and when the artist is finally satisfied with the final result, it is only necessary to click on the highlighted button “Submit”. 

And that’s about it. 

While Coca-Cola decides on the winners, all the collected works are exhibited in the form of an online gallery that can be viewed by anyone who accesses the aforementioned microsite and choose their favorites, and very likely discover new names of artists whose work they will continue to follow. 

About the works of visual artists 

Although the call is primarily intended for digital artists, the process of creating visuals is so simple and accessible that anyone can try this creative experiment and express themselves in a new way. 

Moreover, creating visuals with the help of artificial intelligence has one added value compared to the standard approach, and that is that the artist does not know what the result will look like in the end, because he does not see what is happening “behind the scenes”. That surprise factor is what provides the greatest satisfaction, in addition to unlimited space for playing and trying. 

However, the aforementioned satisfaction is not the only award that awaited prominent works in this campaign. Thirty selected creators had a unique opportunity to attend the three-day art workshop “Real Magic Creative Academy” at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, where they had a chance to meet other artists and excellent lecturers. 

Not only that, but the most exclusive prize in this competition was the opportunity to exhibit at one of the most visited points in the world, Times Square in New York and Piccadilly in London. 

Finally, it should be mentioned that this type of involvement of independent artists in the process of defining the brand and growing the vision of an established company perfectly corresponds to the contemporary marketing philosophy, which dictates that there is no longer an audience – which is usually a passive consumer of content – but this term is now treated as a community, which means that it is necessary to involve others, respect their opinion, to keep the brand growing and remain relevant to its target group. 

Campaigns such as “Create Real Magic” strengthen the sense of belonging, directly involve new creatives and supply them with tools that encourage their expression, with mutual satisfaction – Coca-Cola will have insight into new conceptual inputs, while participants will have the opportunity to upgrade their skills, connect with other artists, and exhibit their works in front of a wider audience. 

This example shows how Artificial Intelligence can be used to democratize the iconography of a brand whose tradition has lasted for more than a century. Its essence, which involves community involvement, can also be applied on a smaller scale to increase the brand’s engagement, regardless of its size or the country from which it comes. 



A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.