Tech in Action: Coca-Cola creates harmony with AR

Scanning a can triggers an interactive story related to the brand's positioning of bringing people together.

Coca-Cola is using augmented reality to let real cans of cola smooth over tussles between animated characters.

Pointing a phone at a regular can of Coke can trigger one of 12 different animated stories, in which 3D-animated characters act out a scene around the can. All of the stories involve some kind of lighthearted conflict or tense moment, from dueling guitar players to a couple getting spooked at a scary movie to kids losing their beach ball.

Beyond being a unique creative format, the execution ties into Coca-Cola’s global brand positioning of being a source of shared moments of happiness. In each of the stories, the “real” can is somehow used to end conflicts and bring people together, such as being the backdrop for a group selfie.

California-based visual effects agency Timber and Ogilvy’s Mexico office worked on the execution.

Packaging has become a common way to trigger AR-based mobile experiences for consumers, from creative executions to ecommerce opportunities. Coca-Cola is no stranger either: in 2017, a campaign allowed Canadians to scan a bottle and instantly be taken to a corresponding Spotify playlist matching a mood or experience printed on the label.