Possibly the most well-known soft drink worldwide is Coca-Cola. The company has been in pop culture and film for many years, and it sells its goods in over 200 nations and territories. The Coca-Cola polar bear became the company mascot many years ago, further solidifying the brand’s legendary status. However, how did a soft drink corporation decide to choose a polar bear as its representative?
Why Is the Polar Bear the Symbol for Coca-Cola?
According to the Coca-Cola Company, the first Coca-Cola polar bear debuted in a print advertisement in France in 1922. Polar bears appeared in the company’s ads intermittently throughout the next seventy years. But the bear didn’t really establish itself as the company’s mascot until the 1990s.
The 1993 “Northern Lights” Coca-Cola TV commercial featured a polar bear. It was a component of the global “Always Coca-Cola” marketing campaign. In the commercial, polar bears enjoy Coca-Cola bottles while observing the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, in the sky above.
Ken Stewart, the advertisement’s creator, was motivated to develop it by his Labrador Retriever, who gave him the impression of a cuddly polar bear. Stewart considered the idea of polar bears attending theaters, but ultimately decided to use the aurora borealis as their own “movie,” which they would watch in the night sky.
Coca-Cola Polar Bears in Holiday Ads
The first-ever Coca-Cola polar bears on film proved to be a huge hit with viewers. They reappeared for an advertisement that ran during the Winter Olympics in 1994. The bears did a double take this time, sliding down a luge and jumping from a ski jump. The cuddly animals later made an appearance in holiday advertisements and billboards.
Over the years, viewers have witnessed these cute bears getting into a lot of mischief. They can be seen choosing a Christmas tree, having fun with penguins, and other activities in commercials. Super Bowl commercials have even featured the Coca-Cola polar bears.
Threats to Polar Bears
The real polar bears that wander the Arctic are far less cuddly than the one found in Coca-Cola. It’s difficult to overlook the risks that these bears face in the twenty-first century.
In 2008, polar bears received the formal designation as a threatened species. These animals’ blubber, which keeps them warm, and webbed toes make them well suited for living in the water.
Polar bears are marine creatures, yet they use sea ice as a place to rest and as a hunting vantage point. The Arctic’s sea ice is receding due to global warming. The first time that drowned polar bears have been discovered recently is according to the UCR Center for Science Education.
The bears now have to swim farther between patches of sea ice since the patches are getting farther apart. Some, despite their great swimming ability, are unable to complete the lengthy trek and drown.
Did Coca-Cola Remove the Polar Bear As Its Mascot?
Coca-Cola made the decision to confront the threat that climate change posed to polar bears in 2011. According to No Lie Communications, the corporation started its “Arctic Home” campaign. Coca-Cola pledged to raise awareness of the threat that climate change poses to polar bears by partnering with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Coca-Cola promised to provide $2 million to the conservation of polar bears. A seven-minute short video directed by Ridley Scott was also created as part of the effort to save polar bears and their habitat.
For the 2011 Christmas season, the company also temporarily switched the color of its drink cans from red to white with pictures of polar bears. Nevertheless, Coca-Cola subsequently stopped using the white cans as a result of customer concerns.
The polar bear appears to have disappeared entirely from the company’s advertising campaigns in recent years. In 2013, one of the final Coca-Cola television advertisements with the adorable bears aired. A family of polar bears was depicted in the commercial making a snowman, complete with a Coke bottle top for a snout.
It is said that The Coca-Cola Company is still dedicated to generating funds and awareness about the effects of climate change on the environment.