US: Coke changes iconic red can to white to support polar bears

For the first time ever, Coca-Cola is turning its iconic red cans white, as part of a joint campaign with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to boost its polar bear conservation efforts.

“We want to help the polar bear — a beloved Coca-Cola icon since 1922 — by helping conserve its Arctic habitat,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “That’s why we’re using one of our greatest assets — our flagship brand, Coca-Cola — to raise awareness for this important cause. And by partnering with WWF, we can truly make a positive difference for these majestic animals.”

Over the American Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, more than 1.4 billion white Coke cans will help raise awareness and funds to protect the polar bear’s home. White bottle caps also will be on bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Nestea, Minute Maid and more.

Coca-Cola has never before changed the colour of the red can to support a cause.

Beginning Nov 1, 2011, the familiar red can background will be replaced with an all-white panorama, highlighted by the iconic Coca-Cola script printed in red. The eye-catching cans will feature the image of a mother bear and her two cubs making their way across the Arctic. White packaging will be on store shelves through February 2012.

Coca-Cola is making an initial donation of $2 million to WWF and inviting others to join the effort via electronic pledging.  Coca-Cola will match all donations made with a package code by March 15, 2012, up to a total of $1 million.

Funds raised will go toward WWF’s conservation efforts to protect polar bear habitats — for their survival today and in the future.

“Polar bears inspire the imagination. They’re massive, powerful, beautiful and they live nowhere else except the Arctic. Their lives are intimately bound up with sea ice, which is now melting at an alarming rate,” says Carter Roberts, president/CEO of World Wildlife Fund. “By working with Coca-Cola, we can raise the profile of polar bears and what they’re facing, and most importantly, engage people to work with us, to help protect their home.”

WWF has a vision to help protect the polar bear’s Arctic home. This includes working with local residents to manage an area high in the Arctic where the summer sea ice will likely persist the longest. This area — potentially covering 500,000 square miles — could provide a home for the polar bear while protecting the cultural and economic needs of local people.

Coca-Cola and WWF also have partnered with Academy Award nominated filmmakers MacGillivray Freeman Films, which is working with Warner Bros Pictures and IMAX Corporation to co-produce the new IMAX film To The Arctic 3D, scheduled for release in 2012. Coca-Cola’s “Arctic Home” television commercials and content on the website, ArcticHome.com, feature sneak preview footage from the film.

Source: The Coca-Cola Company