The Coca‑Cola polar bears
Get to know our ‘coolest’ festive heroes!
Last year, our iconic polar bears returned to the screen in a series of wintry adverts featuring the memorable Coca‑Cola slogan ‘Open Happiness’, two decades after appearing in the animated ‘Northern Lights’ TV spot in 1993. They’ve gone from watching the aurora borealis with an ice-cold bottle of Coca‑Cola, to making snow angels and befriending puffins!
A polar bear journey
Bringing our polar bears to life
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 characters to life. Films and photos of actual polar bears were studied to get a better idea of how they move their heads, bodies and limbs. A sculptor created a representation of the bears’ heads in clay, to define their three-dimensional look. Movement for the bears was created as animators plotted their 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. Cubs were also introduced in a holiday advert in which the bear family selects its Christmas tree, while the previous year saw a family of polar bears building snow bears in their Arctic Home.
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.