Coca Cola is inviting fans around the world to create and share “Real Magic” this holiday season by combining iconic brand assets like its cherished depictions of Santa Claus, created by Haddon Sundblom in 1931, and the beloved Coca Cola Caravan trucks and polar bears with the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.
Consumers can visit CreateRealMagic.com to generate digital greeting cards by reimagining iconic Coca Cola images and characters through the creative prism of AI tools. Personalized cards can be downloaded, emailed to family and friends, or posted to social media. Fans also can save online galleries and browse fellow creators’ artwork.
Pratik Thakar, Coca Cola’s Global Head of Generative AI, said the activation links the brand’s rich heritage with its optimistic vision of the future.
“We’re connecting people as we have always done during the holiday season, but in a uniquely real and magical way by democratizing our creative assets and the latest AI tools,” said Thakar, noting that Coca Cola recently concluded a similar campaign in India for Diwali.
The holiday activation builds on the success of Create Real Magic, the first AI platform of its kind to combine the capabilities of ChatGPT-4, which produces human-like text from search engine queries, and DALL-E, which produces images based on text. In March, digital creatives around the world generated more than 120,000 pieces of original artwork with iconic creative assets from the Coca Cola archives.
“Technology has since evolved—the leap in image quality from DALL-E 2 to DALL-E 3 is incredible—so we saw an opportunity to launch a holiday-themed creation platform and give fans the chance to enhance our iconic imagery,” Thakar added.
Coca Cola will feature consumer-created artwork and creations from partner artists on 20 digital billboards around the world including New York’s Times Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus.
“I’m all about using design to entertain and inform, and AI has opened up endless possibilities that allow me to do both. Having access to some of the most recognized holiday iconography and being able to put my own spin on it, with no limits, has been amazing,” said UK Creative Director at Seedily, Paul Parsons. “I can’t wait to share my take of the Coca Cola holiday card.”
The holiday card-generator will be available in over 40 markets globally and supports Coca Cola’s global festive campaign’s celebration of the “inner Santa” in us all through everyday acts of unexpected kindness. A new TV film, “The World Needs More Santas,” shows how real magic multiplies when people embrace selflessness, generosity and goodwill. Two additional short films, “Ho-Ho Heist” and “The Note," will drop in December.
Fans can access the “Find Your Inner Santa” quiz via the Coca Cola mobile app and scannable on-pack and digital OOH codes for the chance to win festive prizes including a trip to Rovaniemi, Finland to meet Santa Claus in his official “hometown.”
Coca Cola will herald the start of the season with its Christmas Caravan truck tour, which will deliver magical kindness-led community experiences in more than 40 markets. Tour stops will include partnerships with local charitable organizations.
Islam ElDessouky, Global Head of Creative Strategy and Content for Coca Cola, said the campaign strikes the sweet spot between Coca Cola’s core values of optimism, happiness and making a difference with the spirit of Christmas.
“We are leveraging the figure of Santa Claus and its symbolism as it brings kindness, gift-giving, goodwill and generosity to the world, which ties in very nicely with what Coke stands for,” ElDessouky said in an interview with Ad Age. “We want to bring people together and we want to be a reminder of goodwill.”
The campaign was developed by Bain & Company and WPP Open X, including Essence Mediacom, BCW, Ogilvy and Obviously.