A Masterpiece of AI?

We took the opportunity to examine the use of AI in Coca-Cola’s new ‘Masterpiece’ advert to explore how it can support and enhance the work of creatives like us.

If you haven’t yet seen this Coca Cola ad, check it out, it’s a masterpiece by name and nature and serves as a great example of AI supporting creatives. The ads premise is that a bottle of the drink journeys through a gallery of paintings, adopting the style of each before reaching an art student in need of inspiration.

Reminiscent of films like Night at the Museum and the multi-award winning a-ha video for ‘Take on Me’ (well ahead of its time in 1986!) this ad blends live action with animation in a seamless storytelling symphony. You can gain some insight into the ‘making of’ it through this video.

The use of AI seems to have been somewhat of a promotional stunt capitalising on current trends, with many believing that Coca Cola simply told an AI computer program somewhere to create an ad. What it’s actually done is drawn attention to the vast array of creative talents that go into producing a 2 minute masterpiece…

When Coca-Cola published the ‘making-of’ video to YouTube there was an incredible reaction to the credits with peoples’ comments celebrating the amount of talent involved. Coca-Cola have also used ‘Masterpiece’ to give both emerging artists and historical icons a new platform, by featuring their work as part of its campaign. So in this application, AI is supporting creatives on a number of levels.

To get a bit geeky and talk technical for a minute, examples of AI use in ‘Masterpiece’ include:

  • Use of AI img2img in the compositing stage as a filter to give a painterly style to real video footage (look closely at the sailors, the woman in the jungle, dude in the hoodie, girl with a pearl earring etc).
  • Generative AI in question like stable diffusion has likely been lightly used as a subtle ‘texture filter’.
  • Painted styles were achieved using tools like procedural generation, advanced too shading, and likely human painting + EbSynth.

Whilst AI was not used to generate the concept of this ad or even a finished image, its main application benefit is to speed up the creative process and reduce costs. It can be a really helpful tool to enable iteration and experimentation of variations to optimise the ultimate output and can unlock new creative opportunities by exploring the unconventional, providing inspiration and encouraging innovation.


If you’re looking for some inspiration for your brand, why not give our creative team a shout by emailing hello@randomcolouranimal.com and we’ll see what ‘masterpiece’ we can come up with for you!

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