There is hardly any avenue in your life that isn’t captured by Generative AI. It is literally omnipresent in today’s time and age. Brands are also resorting to AI features to stay relevant in the technologically-charged world of today. Coca‑Cola’s innovative AI Christmas Card campaign is a recent example of this phenomenon.

Coca-Cola AI christmas campaign

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.

Consumers can visit to generate digital greeting cards by reimagining iconic Coca‑Cola images and characters through the creative prism of AI tools. You can then download and email these personalized cards to your family and friends, or post them to social media. Viewers also can save online galleries and browse fellow creators’ artwork.

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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.

This isn’t the first generative AI initiative launched by the soft drinks giant. Previously, Coca-Cola produced the super impressive Masterpiece advertisement, which brought some of the world’s most famous works of art to life in front of our eyes. It also launched Coke Studio, allowing its audience to experiment with AI music creation.

The Tech

Create Real Magic is 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. Crucially, Coca-Cola has provided users with branded elements, including the iconic logo and glass bottle, along with full permission to use them in whatever way they want.

From The Key Stakeholders

This AI campaign was developed by Bain & Company and WPP Open X, including Essence Mediacom, BCW, Ogilvy and Obviously. Selman Careaga, president of the global Coca-Cola category provided some insights into what the campaign hoped to achieve. According to him, fitting into the company’s 130-year-plus tradition of creating uplifting, optimistic and family-oriented messaging, as well as tapping into new technology has proven highly effective at driving engagement.

Careaga said, “I think we’re adding a layer of innovation that’s exciting for people, and at the same time kind of letting people play with the brand – just letting the brand go and see how people react to it.” 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.

Selman added, “…everything that we’ve done with AI generates double the engagement of any other content that we create.” It also hits new audiences – 60 percent of those who engaged with previous AI marketing initiatives had not previously engaged with the brand through other digital channels, such as social media.

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 Paul Parsons, UK Creative Director at Seedily. “I can’t wait to share my take of the Coca‑Cola holiday card.”

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. “We want to bring people together and we want to be a reminder of goodwill.

The Overarching Campaign

The holiday card generator is 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 TV film released by the brand a month ago, “The World Needs More Santas,” shows how real magic multiplies when people embrace selflessness, generosity and goodwill.

The brand then introduced an interesting category called “The Santa Stories” which features two short films/episodes – “Ho-Ho Heist” and “The Note,” which dropped in December. Viewers can access a “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.”

When it comes to creating festive magic, Coca-Cola never disappoints. And now by integrating the newest tech, the brand knows how to innovate and elevate its campaigns which cater to millions of people. Did you try making personalised AI cards for your loved ones? Give it a shot now!