Diageo’s GenAI Tool Is Helping to Develop Brand Packaging

International spirits giant Diageo has co-developed an artificial intelligence tool with the aim of stimulating creative innovation and speeding up package design.

Diageo, with more than 200 brands and a market cap of $98 billion, worked with creative technology company Phantom to develop bespoke creative generation tools. The tools sit in a walled garden of content to protect its IP. Design tests were done for two of Diageo’s leading brands, Don Julio and Smirnoff.

The initial prototype was created for Don Julio Tequila using a limited data set to train the tool. Those learnings were then taken to Miami earlier this summer, where Smirnoff marketers gathered to consumer test 10-15 package versions created by the tool.

Mark Sandys, Diageo’s chief innovation officer, revealed the success of the tool during a roundtable organized by Adweek at Cannes Lions in June.

The Smirnoff Generator enabled the team to ideate four “forms” for each of the brand’s variations of packaging. The tool includes an open text field to specify potential drinking occasions and a drop-down field of options to specify a mood for an occasion. A Creativity slider allows users to change the likeness of the output to resemble a bottle or a can. And there is Lock Label functionality to maintain brand recognition across each generated piece.

Diageo’s head of design, Jeremy Lindley, was also involved in the testing. Sandys claimed Lindley was initially skeptical of the tool but was running it by the end of the session.

GenAI-produced packaging for Don Julio tequila.Diageo

“In six months, we’ll probably look back and think, ‘That was so basic,’ but actually it was a real sign of being able to see how this could open up our thinking rather than just make things more efficient,” Sandys added.

Ben Travis, partnerships lead from Phantom, said Diageo approached them inquiring about how GenAI could be implemented into the business. Phantom trained an AI model by using 50 images of the Don Julio brand, implementing text-to-image software Stable Diffusion and using prompt engineering.

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