Coke Partners With WWF On Global Polar Bear Initiative

In tandem with the release of Coca-Cola’s new Polar Bear short film, the soft drinks giant has rolled out a new Arctic conservation initiative in partnership with eco charity WWF. The core objective of the joint international programme is to raise awareness of the plight of polar bears.



The Arctic Home programme aims to combine WWF’s scientific network and conservation expertise with Coca-Cola’s marketing weight and communication skills to help meet and solve the challenges to the polar bears’ future.


Polar bears have been a key feature of Coke’s marketing for almost 90 years and early 2013 saw the brand revamp their iconic animal ambassadors through a Ridley Scott produced seven minute movie which falls neatly in to line with Coca-Cola’s new liquid and linked Content 2020 marketing strategy.


Running under the ‘Arctic Home’ scheme, the new Coke/WWF partnership will see the cola behemoth donate €3m annually to research, fund conservation planning, boost government lobbying, and help human communities live alongside the majestic creatures all to protect the polar bear population.


As well as the short film, activation of the new partnership will include a suite of international cross-media creative that across North America and Europe will include new polar bear-led TV work, print and digital creative and special edition polar bear cans.


‘Polar bears have been a much-loved part of Coca-Cola’s advertising for over 90 years,’ says Coke’s UK marketing director Zoe Howorth. ‘We want to help create a future for them and their Arctic home. We believe that by combining our two organisations’ strengths and resources with the support and involvement of the general public, we’ll be able to go beyond what we each could achieve on our own.’


This is an international partnership with different levels of emphasis and different activation according to market relevance. For example, Canada is a key market for this initiative as it has particular relevance to the polar bear issue. Indeed, a recent poll by Coca-Cola Canada showed 61% of Canadians consider the polar bear to be a symbol of national pride.


2013 is the second year Coca-Cola Canada and WWF Canada have combined on Arctic Home. As part of this join programme, WWF is working with Northern Canadians and the government on a plan for the 1.4m square km ‘Last Ice’ Area – an area of summer sea ice high in the Arctic that is expected to be the most resilient as the Arctic warms.




While polar bears first popped up in Coca-Cola marketing on a 1922 print ad, they are fairly new to the brand’s WWF CSR partnership.


Coke has actually worked with WWF since 2007 on various projects ranging from conserving and protecting fresh water around the world as rising populations and climate change put increased pressure on water resources.


By 2020 WWF and Coca-Cola aim to lead a global movement to conserve the planet’s natural resources, with a focus on fresh water through its Water+ commitment.


To try and ensure that this programme is part of Coca-Colaa’s genuine, underlying philosophy (rather than just partnership marketing), the drinks company also works with WWF to promote sustainable agriculture in the Company’s supply chain.


After all, in this day and age it is vital to actually practices what you preach.




Arctic Home



Coca-Cola 2013 Polar Bear Film



Arctic Home Canada



WWF Homepage



Coca-Cola Homepage




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