The Coca Cola cans featuring polar bears are now part of every grocery store endcap–one of the most familiar heralds of the holiday season. I received an email from Coca Cola today reminding me that this is their second year that they are partnering with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to help the polar bear, committing to donating $2 million over the next five years. (They’ve raised $1.8 million so far.)
You can read about the company’s efforts on their website, Arctic Home. The fact sheet outlines Coca Cola’s marketing efforts, but this article in Time Magazine published last year explains the devastating effects of global warming on polar bears and the plan to create a refuge where the ice will remain longest, also called the Last Ice area.
Polar Bears have been part of Coca Cola advertising since 1922. Last April, Meryl Streep narrated the IMAX movie To the Arctic 3D, sponsored in part by the Arctic Home initiative.
Ironically, while Coca Cola has created livepositively.com, a program devoted to recycling, healthy living, and protection of our environment, critics emphasize that the products they create (specifically sugary beverages) contribute to a world health crisis and obesity.
I know that no one wants to dwell the negatives during the holidays, but famous advertising man Alex Bogusky with the advocacy group, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, released a video in October that satirizes our love of sugary beverages and the devastating effects of the resulting health impact using a story of polar bears who drink too much soda. Check out the article in USA Today, which includes the video.