Cannes Lions

Coca Cola AR Vending Machine

SNAPCHAT, Santa Monica / COLA-COLA / 2024

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Overview

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Overview

Background

The technological leap embodied by Coca-Cola's AR vending machine project unfolds against a backdrop of growing consumer appetite for digital integration into everyday experiences. However, navigating this innovative path presented challenges, including ensuring the precision of gesture recognition within the public domain and adhering to stringent data privacy regulations, especially given the machine's interactive nature and data collection capabilities. Budgetary constraints demanded creative strategies to deploy advanced AR technology affordably.

The collaboration with Snapchat's AR creative Studio, Arcadia for its AR expertise illustrates a cost-effective approach to overcoming financial and technological hurdles. This venture into augmented reality, despite these limitations and restrictions, showcases Coca-Cola's commitment to blending digital innovation with consumer interaction. By strategically leveraging partnerships and existing technologies, Coca-Cola managed to introduce a pioneering engagement model that enriches the brand-consumer relationship while adhering to budgetary, regulatory, and technological confines.

Idea

The creative idea behind this project was to transform the familiar and static experience of using a vending machine into a dynamic and interactive adventure, maintaining the iconic silhouette of the machine while revolutionizing its function and interaction model. By integrating Snapchat's AR technology, we infused the machine with the ability to not just dispense products but also to engage users in an immersive digital experience. This experience includes gesture-based navigation and advanced body tracking technology, allowing users to interact with the machine in a way that's both intuitive and magical. Users can play games, engage with the brand through unique digital content, virtually try on exclusive Coca-Cola merchandise, and explore a variety of trending Snap AR lenses, all facilitated by a custom-built screen and camera setup. This innovative approach redefines the vending machine as not merely a point of purchase but a portal to a vibrant, interactive brand universe.

Strategy

The AR-powered Coca-Cola vending machine, making its consumer debut at the Paris 2024 Olympics and slated for global rollout at Coca-Cola events in 2025, represents a seismic shift in interactive consumer technology.

This project's scalability from a pioneering prototype to a global phenomenon underscores its potential for reshaping brand engagement worldwide. Achieving an average interaction time of 90 seconds and over 40 million media impressions, it transcends traditional transactions, emerging as a cultural touchstone.

This innovation not only signifies a leap in industry relevance by integrating AR into everyday consumer experiences but also sets new benchmarks for digital engagement. The success to date heralds a future where such technology becomes a staple in global events, highlighting Coca-Cola's commitment to blending cutting-edge technology with its brand ethos, thereby revolutionizing refreshment and consumer interaction in the digital age.

Execution

The execution of this innovative Coca-Cola vending machine project married cutting-edge technology, strategic placement, and creative design to Coca-Cola's ethos of adding magic to the world. The core implementation featured retrofitting existing Coca-Cola vending machines with custom screens and cameras, integrating Snapchat's AR technology to facilitate gesture-based navigation and advanced 3D body mesh tracking, a collaboration spearheaded by engineers, AR developers, & UX designers aimed at creating an engaging and intuitive interface. This technological innovation transformed routine transactions into immersive brand storytelling opportunities and interactive experiences.

Unveiled at Snap's Global Summit & Coca-Cola's Innovation Summit, the prototype was designed for accessibility, ease of use, and engagement, leveraging Snapchat's Camera Kit technology to immerse users in Coca-Cola-themed AR experiences. This approach was not just about visual appeal but about fostering a deeper connection between consumers and the Coca-Cola brand through interactive digital content, embodying Coca-Cola's mission of bringing magic to everyday moments.

The use of AR technology in this context is particularly innovative, offering a glimpse into the future of consumer-product interaction. It goes beyond the novelty of AR by creating a meaningful, interactive user experience that leverages gesture control and body tracking to engage users in a way that was previously unimaginable.

Scheduled to make its consumer debut at the Paris 2024 Olympics, this project underscores Coca-Cola's commitment to innovation at a time when the brand will be in the global spotlight. Completed in an unprecedented timeline of just 12 weeks from concept to prototype, this initiative demonstrates how fast-paced innovation, driven by collaborative effort and a clear vision, can lead to groundbreaking advancements in consumer engagement.

This endeavor not only reimagines the vending machine experience but also illustrates how traditional consumer interactions can be transformed through AR technology making each interaction with the vending machine a memorable brand experience.

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