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Coca-Cola launches AI art contest using ChatGPT-4 and DALL-E 2

Coca-Cola is launching a competition prompting AI fans to create digital art using its iconic imagery. The best submissions will be showcased on billboards in Manhattan and London.

The possibilities for generative AI are pretty much endless, and yet the assignment here is to create the coolest image possible… featuring a cat in a space suit.

Okay, I’m being facetious. It’s more complicated than that.

Coca-Cola is inviting digital artists, or just those who like messing around with AI, to create original designs based around some of its most famed images. The widely recognisable thirsty robot, Santa Claus, and pop-chugging polar bears immediately spring to mind.

While the requirement is simple, the one catch is that all works must be created using one or both of OpenAI’s flagship programs ChatGPT and DALL-E 2. The soda giant is asking for both visual submissions and potential copy ideas too – perhaps a romantic poem about the beverage, for example.

Red Coca Cola Zero Signage

The contest, officially dubbed ‘Create Real Magic’ is leveraging both systems as a first real marketing push since its partnership deal with OpenAI and consultancy firm Brain & Company established in February.

A dedicated micro-site is hosting the new campaign and will be accessible until deadline day on March 31. Once the entries have been reviewed, a handful of the favourite picks will be showcased on billboards in both Manhattan’s Times Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus.

Beyond this, a further 30 digital artists are to be offered the opportunity to participate in the ‘Real Magic Creative Academy,’ a three-day workshop in Atlanta to collaborate and learn from some of the company’s best in-house designers.

Speaking of which, Coca-Cola has worked with an illustrious list of artists over the years, including a certain Andy Warhol. This newest drive is an attempt to mobilise the next generation of creatives spanning 17 countries including the US, Australia, and parts of Europe.

A brief tutorial video posted to YouTube shows a user entering a detailed prompt list into DALL-E 2 which reads: ‘An astronaut reaching for Coca-Cola in space, cinematic lighting, octane render, red colour, lens flare.’ The software then returns an array of images not unlike retro-futuristic comics of the 1950s.

Click here to give it a whirl yourself.

‘We’re very excited to see what they bring to the table,’ says Manolo Arroyo, global chief marketing officer for The Coca-Cola Company. ‘It’s a first experiment to see what are the boundaries of how the technology works. It’s a very new field for us and most companies out there.’

Internally, the company is experimenting more widely with AI tools to explore data-driven marketing material. It’s already started using AI to predict future beverage trends in developing markets – for things like, say, what flavour twists are most popular in different regions.

We’ve already seen the emerging technology disrupt several industries; including tech, music, art, fashion, and literature. It appears marketing will become another string to its bow soon enough.

‘We’re moving at the speed of culture,’ declares Coca-Cola’s chief of creative strategy, Patrik Thakar.