Does the Coca-Cola bottle -- which turns 100 this week -- look its age?
Yes, according to Microsoft’s buzzed-about How-Old.net website, which has captured the world’s attention by guessing the age of people in photos using facial recognition technology and real-time data analytics. More than 575 million images have been uploaded to the site in just six months.
Now, in honor of the Coke bottle becoming a centenarian, Microsoft’s data scientists are stretching the How-Old.net robot’s capabilities even further by making the iconic package the first object recognized by the tool.
Here’s how it works: Fans can try to unlock a special Coca-Cola experience page by uploading a photo of a Coca-Cola bottle (with the Coke logo visible) to How-old.net -- either as a “selfie” or a standalone pack shot. If the bottle is detected, the "age" of the bottle will appear as 100 years old, and the page will turn red. Users will be prompted to share their results on social media and receive a link to Coca-Cola Journey.
The #CokeBottleBirthday experience launched today on the How-Old.net website.
It all started with a challenge from a group of Coca-Cola marketers in Kazakhstan, who were fascinated by the #HowOldRobot when it was unveiled at a developer conference in May. The team approached Microsoft, together with mutual partners at McCann, to explore a possible collaboration as a creative way to mark this year's big milestone.
“Microsoft captivated our collective imagination with this technology, and it was an easy leap to connect it to the Coca-Cola bottle anniversary we’ve been celebrating this year,” said Simon Cowart, global social media strategist at Coca-Cola. “We saw a unique opportunity to engage our fans in a great experiential brand moment.”
'We saw a unique opportunity to engage our fans in a great experiential brand moment,' said Simon Cowart, global social media strategist, Coca-Cola.
“What was important to us was to not only tap into existing consumer interest and associate ourselves with a popular application,” she added. “Instead, we wanted to create a truly authentic Coca-Cola experience and create an opportunity for people to discover or rediscover the Coke bottle in a surprising way.”
Microsoft’s engineers accepted the challenge, and partnered with reps from Coke to begin developing the idea as a stretch assignment. “It was known to all that this may never come to fruition, and was a long shot,” Cowart said. “But we went for it.”
After development and testing, Microsoft unlocked a way to detect images of both the Coca-Cola logo and bottle with the capabilities of Cortana Analytics Suite. Read more about how the Microsoft team created the #CokeBottleBirthday site.
“Now we are the only commercial product, or any inanimate object, to be detected using image detection capabilities within How-Old.net,” said Veselinovic.
She added, “This project is a testament to the iconic status of Coca-Cola bottle. Times, technologies and even consumers change, but the Coca-Cola bottle continues to inspire the world over. It touches everybody, and everyone wants to be part of it.”
More on Journey
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- Muhtar Kent Reflects on His Coca-Cola Journey and Legacy as Company’s 15th Chief Executive
- Chefs Aarón Sánchez, Roblé Ali Dish On Why Coca-Cola Complements Any Meal
- Coca-Cola North America is Bringing the Bubbly with Two Big Water Brands
- Coca-Cola Surprises Uber VIPs in Atlanta and New Orleans with Celebrity Chefs’ Ultimate Food Pairings