Happy birthday to the Coca-Cola Polar Bear!

Coke_polar_bear_northern_lights_2Our beloved bear was introduced in 1993, and turns 15 this year.

In 1993, we introduced the “Always Coca-Cola” ad campaign. The ads included a variety of innovative technical approaches, such as computer animation. (Remember: 15 years ago, computers were quite different from today!)

One of these innovative commercials was “Northern Lights,” which introduced what would become one of the most popular symbols of our advertising: the Coca-Cola Polar Bear.

The creator of the “Northern Lights” ad, Ken Stewart, thought about going to a movie and having a Coke. Mr. Stewart saw his dog (which had resembled a polar bear when it was a puppy), thought about polar bears and how they would go to the movies. And the idea for "Northern Lights" was born. In the commercial, the polar bears watch the aurora borealis (the "movie") and drink from bottles of Coke.

Our Polar Bear has gone on to star in a variety of Coca-Cola commercials, including those showing winter sports (sliding down a luge and soaring off a ski jump). For the holidays, bear cubs helped the bear select its Christmas tree and later played ball with a seal cub. And for the past few years the bear cub has made friends with a group of penguins, while a Beach Boys song played in the background!

Please join me in wishing a Happy Birthday to our bear, who I think doesn’t look a day over 10!