Coca-Cola Gives Iconic Polar Bears a Starring Role With Ridley Scott Film


Coca-Cola apparently doesn’t hold a grudge against famed director Ridley Scott. The perennial Best Global Brand‘s logo appeared in his 1982 film, Blade Runner, and then the brand suffered the so-called “Blade Runner curse” with the disastrous introduction of New Coke in 1985. That “curse” saw other brands that popped up in the film (Atari, Bell, Pan-Am) suffer serious financial difficulties soon after the movie debuted.

Since those days, Coke and Scott, who got his directing start in London’s advertising world in the early ’70s before decamping to Hollywood, have paired up a few times. In 1986, he directed the brand’s famed Max Headroom commercials. Now, the beverage giant has released a short film about its iconic Polar Bears that was directed by Scott and produced by him and his recently deceased brother, Tony Scott.

“The Polar Bears,” as the short is called (watch it below), tells the story of the bear family that has appeared in Coke commercials since the company’s “Always Coca-Cola” campaign kicked off in 1993. While polar bears have been part of the print-advertising mix for Coke since 1922, the campaign put the polar bears front and center in consumers’ eyes. Now those who have been curious about just who these bears are will finally have their questions answered.[more]

Coke teased the project in the U.K. by releasing a 30-second commercial on New Year’s Day called “Snow Bear” that features the family lovingly building a snow bear together:

The Scott-helmed short film will also be broken up into 30-second spots to be shown on during prime time British television in the coming weeks. Is a feature-length film also in the works? Coca-Cola’s keeping mum, except to say how much they love their iconic bears. “The animated polar bears epitomize the cheerful, heart-warming atmosphere that Coca‑Cola is hoping to bring to many families this winter,” stated Zoe Howorth, Marketing Director for Coca‑Cola Great Britain.

Of course, there are some who aren’t pleased with Coke’s attachment to the polar bears. Advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest released a video jibe at Coke in October entitled “Real Bears,” that depicted animated polar bears who had too much cola and suffering from diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay, among other things.

But there’s no denying the power of the polar bears — Coke’s limited-edition (and gorgeously designed) 2011 holiday can campaign featuring the bears may have stirred a flap among global warming opponents, but it went on to take a gold award in the 2012 Pentaward global packaging design awards.