By Webb Wright, NY Reporter

March 20, 2023 | 4 min read

Through March 31, artists from select countries can submit their original creations for a chance to be featured on Coke’s billboards in Times Square and Piccadilly Circus.

Coke is doubling down on its AI-powered marketing efforts with a new contest, titled ‘Create Real Magic,‘ aimed at boosting engagement with artists around the world and positioning the brand as one that has its finger on the pulse of culture and the latest technological trends.

‘Create Real Magic’ leverages two AI systems: Dall-E 2 (which generates images from text-based prompts) and GPT-4 (a large language model released last week), both of which were developed by the AI research company OpenAI. The contest is the first marketing effort to emerge from a new partnership – announced in February – between Coke, OpenAI and consultancy firm Bain & Company.

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A dedicated microsite on which the new campaign is being hosted,, launched today and will be accessible through March 31. Until then, according to a press release, “creators in one of the 17 participating countries can submit their artwork to potentially be featured on Coca-Cola’s iconic billboards in New York’s Time Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus.” (The press release did not name those 17 countries, but a blog post published earlier today mentions the US, Australia and "select countries in Europe and elsewhere").

The brand also says that 30 artists who submit their work will be selected to participate in the ‘Real Magic Creative Academy,’ a three-day workshop that will take place this summer at Coke’s Atlanta headquarters.

Visitors are able to interact with what Coke describes in the press release as its most “iconic visual assets,” including images of polar bears and Santa Claus, as well as the Spencerian Script font, which is used for the brand’s logo.

“It’s an experiment to see where co-creation can take us,” Pratik Thakar, Coca-Cola’s global head of creative strategy and integrated content, said in a blog post published today. “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 [the latest version of] Dall-E, and democratizes both our brand iconography and highest-profile advertising assets.”

In a brief tutorial video posted to YouTube, viewers see an invisible user enter the prompt: “An astronaut reaching for a Coca-Cola in space, cinematic lighting, octane render, red color, lens flare.” After a few seconds, Dall-E 2 spits out an array of images, many of which look like pre-production stills taken from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The user then uses the site’s GPT-4-enabled functionality to produce “A poem about enjoying a Coca-Cola in space.” Finally, the selected poem is superimposed onto one of the images, and the user submits their creation.

Coke’s new AI-powered marketing effort is the latest iteration of its ongoing ‘Real Magic‘ messaging framework, which launched in late 2021.

Coke isn’t the only brand that’s been capitalizing on the recent wave of public interest surrounding "generative AI." Earlier this month, for example, the online grocery delivery platform Instacart unveiled ‘Ask Instacart,’ an in-app feature that uses ChatGPT – another OpenAI product – to answer questions related to groceries and meal prep.

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