Teejae Sonza, Group Marketing Director of Coca-Cola, opens up about the process behind creating the brand’s new release, Y3000 Zero Sugar.
With many companies already experimenting with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Coca-Cola is among them, having incorporated AI for its advertising campaigns.
This time around, however, Coca-Cola decided to involve AI in creating its latest edition of cola, the Y3000 Zero Sugar.
TRP had the privilege of not only attending the launch of the Y3000 Zero Sugar but we also had the opportunity to speak with Teejae Sonza, the Group Marketing Director of Coca-Cola about the process and inspiration behind creating the drink.
Teejae, who has been with the company for over 15 years, walked us through the meticulous process that went into creating the Y3000 Zero Sugar.
What makes it so special?
Kicking off our interview, Teejae started by explaining the uniqueness of Y3000 that sets it apart from the rest. Contrary to the other creations, the Y3000 Zero Sugar was co-created with artificial intelligence.
Therefore, making it the first futuristic beverage ever that was created by humans and AI. According to Teejae, this was done to inspire and imagine the reality of the future for its consumers.
“We wanted to inspire and imagine what the future could be and what it could taste like. We also wanted to allow our users to experience that both from a product level and brand experience level.
“So, I think that is part of what makes this different from all the creations we have done in the past,” said the Group Marketing Director.
Pushing the envelope
As to how the idea came to life, Teejae noted that it derived from the company’s desire to find new ways of engaging with its consumers. Since it has been around for 140 years, Coca-Cola decided it was time to switch things up.
So, when the Coca-Cola creations platform was born, the company was eager to look into different collaborations. Be it in the area of music, gaming, or sports, Coca-Cola wanted to inspire its consumers in newfound ways.
But for this project, the company was particularly inspired by the advent of technology. They resonated with the idea of how technology could assist us in creating a fraction of the future.
“So, we started looking at trends on social media. We were interested to know what people imagine the future to be in terms of aspirations, motivations, flavour preferences, and colours. And so, what we did was leverage artificial intelligence and fed it into the model.
“This was to help us understand what flavour pairings that might come up and imagine what the future could taste like. It is really imagining the future being represented by the year 3000. That is why it is called Y3000.”
Designing the future
As such, the unique creation unlocks a shared experience of Real Magic, which provides users with a refreshing taste and a peek into the possible reality of the year 3000.
Just by scanning the Coca-Cola Y3000 Zero Sugar scan code, consumers will be taken to the Creations Hub, where they can optimise the customised Y3000 AI lens to imagine what the world could be like in the future.
And the taste of Y3000 is like none other of Coca-Cola’s previous releases. Y3000 has a unique artificial fruity taste that hits the taste buds differently. For some, it tastes like circus peanut candies, whereas for others, it tastes like caramel vanilla.
The usage of AI was also incorporated into the can’s packaging design.
AI was used to develop the packaging, which features a pixelated logo, clean chrome colours, effervescent bubbles, and the Coca-Cola Spencerian script with fluid dot clusters that merge to represent the human connections of our future planet.
Technology informs success
According to Coca-Cola, the Y3000 Zero Sugar has been a game changer for the company. It not only demonstrated the company’s range but also encouraged interactions with its customers these past few weeks.
On social media, for instance, young users have been vocal about their fascination with Y3000 Zero Sugar. Though some are not in favour of the drink, many seem to have developed a strong liking for it.
Teejae is not surprised by this. Given the technology aspect of the project, she predicted young customers would naturally gravitate towards it.
“I think the new generation, they are not just embracing technology, but it is their way of life too. They were born with it and it excites them. Most of our young consumers also look forward to the future,” said Teejae excitedly.
Up for more possibilities
Nonetheless, Coca-Cola is sure to take one day at a time. Coca-Cola’s current primary focus still lies within the priority to celebrate Y3000 Zero Flavour. They also aim to continue to listen and interact with their customers for future inspiration.
“We will continue to look at the trends, the fashions, and the interests of the youth. It will be sort of the thing that guides us for our future projects.
“Though there are challenges, we will always experiment and learn new ways to deliver the best experience that current technology can provide in a very safe environment for everyone involved.”