Coke Spiced: An Immersive Taste Experience

By James Robinson, Chief Creative Officer, NA​ and Jason Alan Snyder, Global Chief Technology Officer​, Momentum Worldwide

How do you communicate the taste of a new Coca-Cola flavor that is so unique it is impossible to describe? Instead of Coke trying to tell their consumer what new Coke Spiced tastes like, Coke let the consumer show them. The Coke Spiced House experience was a showcase for the extraordinary potential of AI to reshape experiential marketing—not as a draw for consumers, but as an almost invisible tool that allowed them to bring their creative visions to life. Even though the word AI very rarely appeared in any of the communications about the experience, every aspect of the project was created by letting the audience use the technology to make the experience for themselves. That philosophy of audience-driven creation even extended to the building itself. The spectacular red structure that gradually manifested in the middle of downtown SoHo over four days was designed by giving a custom AI generator to Emmy award-winning actress and fashion designer Storm Reid, who used it to turn the building into her vision of the flavor. Then when the experience was opened to the public, the audience was invited in to do the same, adding their own AI-generated flavor images to the screens that filled the interior, creating an immersive, user-generated, taste-inspired art experience.

Elevating the Sensory Experience

The Coke Spiced activation exceeded the limits of a typical new flavor launch, engineering a multidimensional marketing experience that reflected and amplified the beverage’s distinct character. The “Spiced Shop” installation was the catalyst for realizing this vision. At its core, it was a generative AI system designed to give tangible, tactile form to the elusive human experience of taste.

Coca-Cola encouraged consumers to articulate their sensory perceptions of Coke Spiced, engaging in a nuanced vocabulary of textures, aromas and emotions. Our AI model then transformed these verbal expressions into dynamic works of art that visually echo their unique experience, demonstrating AI’s ability to bridge the gap between the subjective and the expressive.

Human Inspiration, Amplified

Collaborating with Storm Reid was the seed that laid the foundational creative sparks with the AI. Our teams translated her vibrant descriptions of Coke Spiced into a rich dataset, informing the AI’s initial output and defining a baseline aesthetic for the larger installation. This strategic move reinforced the notion of AI as a tool to enhance and amplify human creativity, not displace it. Reid’s star power, artistic sensibilities and our specific deployment of AI helped create a truly unique and engaging experience.

The experience was opened to the public, and they were able to have a similar experience for themselves. We gave them a sample of Coke Spiced and access to a simple AI interface, which allowed them to create beautiful, animated art that reflected their impressions of the flavor.

Experiential Marketing Through an AI Lens

The Coke Spiced launch highlights how AI can supercharge the principles of experiential marketing:

  • AI As an Invisible Ingredient: Unlike other recent AI-powered activations, the technology itself was a background enabler rather than the draw. Most of the attendees did not even register that they were using AI. Instead, they marveled at the magic of their own creative inputs coming to life in front of them. The person, rather than the technology, was at the center of the experience—which is how it should be.
  • Hyper-Personalization as the New Standard: Our AI model crafted intensely individualized experiences, catering to a modern consumer expectation for tailored brand interactions.
  • Virality by Design: The installation’s interactive nature and the production of instantly shareable visual assets fueled organic social media amplification.
  • Insight Extraction: Analyzing the linguistic patterns participants employed to describe their experience has the potential to reveal nuanced flavor preferences, empowering data-driven decision-making for future Coca-Cola innovations.

AI: Harnessing its Capabilities, Responsibly

Successful AI deployment relies on a clear understanding of its strengths and limitations. It’s vital to view AI as a targeted tool for achieving particular experiential outcomes; it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. The fusion of Storm Reid’s artistic talent with the expertise of Creative and Experiential Design teams, guided by the capabilities of Technology teams, exemplifies how AI flourishes best within a collaborative, human-centered environment. Diligence to data governance was also vital in ensuring the quality of the insights generated by our AI framework.

Shaping the Future of Immersive Marketing

The implications of the Coke Spiced campaign extend far beyond a single product launch. It showcases AI’s potential to reimagine the future of activations and experiential marketing, and how they can create a personalized, magical experience for every attendee. Experiential marketing will evolve AI models to adapt their role to include advanced predictive analytics for hyper-targeted experiences, more sophisticated content generation, and the ability to optimize and adjust experiences in real-time based on ambient, contextual data.

Our mission is to champion responsible AI innovation. Combining technology with human creativity can create genuinely transformative and authentic advertising experiences. We’re excited to see how this powerful toolkit will continue reshaping consumer engagement.

Tags: AI
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