The Coca‑Cola polar bears

A look at one of our most popular festive heroes

Coca‑Cola Polar Bears

In 1993, our iconic polar bears settled down in front of a film with a Coca‑Cola - with a cool twist. The animated TV advert, 'Northern Lights', featured the polar bears watching the aurora borealis (their 'movie') and drinking from chilled bottles of Coca‑Cola.

Did you know? Before the animated ad, polar bears had appeared in our print advertising as far back as 1922

Our furry friends are now back again in 2013 for a series of wintry adverts featuring the iconic Coca‑Cola slogan 'Open Happiness'.

A polar bear journey

A bit of history

The famous advert of 1993 was created by Ken Stewart, inspired by his Labrador retriever puppy who, Ken thought, resembled a polar bear.

A lengthy, complex process was required to bring the furry, always thirsty Arctic creatures to life. Films and photos of actual polar bears were studied to get a better idea of how bears move their heads, bodies and limbs. A sculptor created a representation of the bear’s head in clay, to define the three dimensional look of the bears. Movement for the bears was created as animators plotted the bears’ course on the computer.

" We wanted to create a character that's innocent, fun and reflects the best attributes we like to call 'human'."
Ken Stewart, creator

There have been many Coca‑Cola polar bear adverts since the 1993 debut, including two for the 1994 Olympic Games in which the bear slid down a luge and soared off a ski jump. Bear cubs also were introduced in a holiday advert in which the bear family selects its Christmas tree. The latest adverts see a family of polar bears in the Arctic, building snow bears and sharing bottles of Coca‑Cola.

Sit back and enjoy the show!

Watch the Coca‑Cola polar bears come to life in this stunning short film by Ridley Scott.

Coca‑Cola and Santa Claus

Find out about the history of our other festive advertising icon, Coca‑Cola's Santa Claus.

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