Coca-Cola spends about $5 billion a year on advertising and a lot of advertising agencies and creative directors have created extraordinary campaigns and made countless millions creating messages that have fueled massive sales, generation after generation, despite the rather pathetic attempts of legislators and nutritionists to slow this growth.
As part of a recent restructuring to make Coke a digital business, the brand hired its first chief digital marketing officer. That digital transformation includes four focus areas:
- Customer and consumer experience,
- new businesses and
Within the customer and consumer segment, Coke is interested in using artificial intelligence to improve content, media and commerce, particularly when it makes the creative process more effective.
In theory, Coke believes AI could be used for everything from creating music for ads, writing scripts, posting a spot on social media and buying media. It doesn’t need anyone else to do that but a robot, coupled with AI and machine learning.
Coke isn’t alone in envisioning human-less creative. AI is already being used to create commercial music and jingles and publishers like the AP are experimenting with using robots to write copy. In terms of Coca-Cola’s interest in AI for media buying, Coke already buys ads programmatically but it is currently less than half of its media budget into programmatic. Still, with $4 billion in advertising, that is still a huge chunk of change that advertising agencies are no longer getting.
Coca-Cola is also looking for ways to use programmatic technology to fulfill ecommerce sales through tactics like subscriptions. Coca-Cola thinks AI could be used for everything from creating music for ads, writing scripts, posting a spot on social media and buying media.
Souped-up vending machines are particularly interesting in countries like Japan, where mobile adoption and vending machine sales are high. Coke has a Japanese app called Coke On that lets consumers pay for drinks. Once the company has that, then they can use beacons so that they know when people are passing by the machines and you can understand habit of consumption, location and time.
At the same time, marketers need to keep in mind privacy concerns with the Internet of Things and need to find the right balance of using consumer data to provide better services that consumers appreciate without crossing the line.
That includes devices like Amazon Echo and also Coke’s own packaging, bottles and trucks. For example, Coke is testing beacons in Belgium in retail stores that pull in live data as shoppers move around the store. You can follow them in real-time and then they have historical data that helps them predict behavior.
Coca-Cola is now evaluating whether an AI bot can replace these flesh and blood creative teams. Mariano Bosaz, the brand’s global senior digital director, said that he’s evaluating how brands can use artificial intelligence because he’s interested in replacing those creative people with robots. Content creation is something that Coke have been doing for a very long time, they brief creative agencies and then the agencies come up with stories that they audio visualize. Coke wants to start experimenting with automated narratives.
How are robots, AI and machine learning going to affect your industry? No matter what industry you are in, it will, and dramatically.