Coke’s new look: polar-bear white

October 25, 2011

Coca-Cola has one of the most recognizable brands on the planet: the red can with the white letters. World Wildlife Fund has an equally eye-catching logo: a black-and-white panda. This week, the two are joining forces to change the Coke can’s look from red to white. It’s meant to raise awareness and money to find a safe haven for polar bears, listed as a threatened species because their icy Arctic habitat is melting under their paws due to climate change.

In a project called Arctic Home, Coke plans to turn 1.4 billion of its soft-drink cans white for the first time in its history, replacing the familiar red with an image of a mother polar bear and two cubs making their way across the Arctic. There will also be white bottle caps on other drinks the company sells. The new look is to show up on store shelves from November 1 through February 2012.

The whole point is to raise money to protect a far-north area where summer sea ice will probably persist the longest, WWF and Coke said in a statement. The Arctic Home plan is to work with local residents to manage as much as 500,000 square miles of territory to provide a home for polar bears.

Coke and polar bears are something of a classic combination, according to the company’s Katie Bayne, who said in a statement that the big white bears were first introduced in the beverage-maker’s advertising in 1922. But the color change is more than tin-deep. Coca-Cola is making an initial $2 million donation to World Wildlife Fund to support polar bear conservation work. Those who buy the white cans can text the package code to 357357 to make individual donations of $1, or donate online at The company plans to match all donations made with a package code by March 15 up to $1 million.

“Polar bears inspire the imagination,” Carter Roberts, CEO and president of WWF, said in a statement. “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. 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.”

Photo credits: REUTERS/Geoff York/World Wildlife Fund (World Wildlife Fund photograph taken along the western shore of Hudson Bay in November 2010 shows a female polar bear with two cubs near Churchill, Canada, in this image released to Reuters on February 9, 2011.

New Coke cans (World Wildlife Fund/Coca-Cola)


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Kudos to Coca-Cola for recognizing that the world of business should be in the business of helping to save the world.

Posted by ross1949 | Report as abusive

The more Coke they sell, the more the ice melts. That’s all there is to it. Seriously, that’s all there is to it – there is no nuance involved.

Their business success has a direct correlation to the amount of emissions – manufacturing, shipping, marketing, consuming – created by their business.

They can donate as much money as they want to nonprofits but nonprofits cannot stop the emissions. The only thing that will stop emissions is to stop manufacturing, stop shipping, stop marketing, stop consuming. Or to discover some miracle energy source that does not generate emissions.

Posted by Nullcorp | Report as abusive

If I could compare and extend the above comment:

The more people there are, the more the ice melts. We can do all we want, donate all the money we want, but all is hopeless.

While I might not buy coke products, and no-one is forcing you to, I am willing to applaud the effort to conserve an area for polar bears. It’s far worse to do nothing.

Posted by AlexanderL | Report as abusive

I don’t drink Coke but I LOVE IT!!!!!

Posted by forteinjeff | Report as abusive

There are more polar bears in the world than there were ten years ago. All a person has to do is research it. The climate has changed for generations. To blame the industrial age is crazy. There are more carbon emissions in an volcano eruption than has been emitted in the industrial age.
We drank only Coke. But Pepsi has a new loyal customer because Coke has taken a political position that pours money into a farce.

Posted by rchar | Report as abusive

So there gona take the white can off the selfs,People what is the problem?You have nothin else to complain about but the color of a can?Save the Polar Bears…where is PETA in all this? Lets not worry bout or brothers and sister in harms way…there job rite? Americans i mean real Americans have more to worry bout than a white can!

Posted by yamaha660 | Report as abusive

Fools, their money and FREEDOM will soon be parted.

There is no reason to put the polar bear on any list but Dangerous – When you get too close. A study, ongoing since 1964, shows that there has been at least a 20% increase in the polar bear population in Alaska to date. Polar bears don’t need any help. Coke and the WWF are a scam to relieve people of there money, just like Global Warming is. Oh…BTW, polar bears can swim over 100 miles at a time. Look up the facts people!

How in the heck is a carbon credit going to solve the so called “Global Warming Problem?” IT’S NOT! The CO2 will still be here and people like Al Gore are going to become filthy rich from it, while you and me become dirt poor. Isn’t that wonderful?

How did the “Ice Age” end, over 10,000 years ago? The Ice melted!
Blame God. It certainly didn’t melt from SUV’s, Industry, People, Bar-B-Q’s, Farming, Excess CO2(plant food), etc.

Wake Up! The EPA is nothing more that a “USA put to a slow death” organization. AMEN.

Posted by Sillyboy | Report as abusive