In the 125 year-old history of the Coca-Cola Company, the color of their iconic can has never changed. This holiday season however, Coke will be coloring over one billion of its cans white in an effort to raise awareness of the dangers polar bears currently face. Created by Turner Duckworth, the design features a mother bear and her two cubs trekking across the arctic tundra, with the Coca-Cola insignia displayed boldly in red. Polar bears have an enormous dependence on Arctic sea ice as a hunting ground and the fear is that as this ice in continues to vanish, so will the polar bears. Polar bears are already listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
For the length of the campaign, running from November 2011 to February 2012, Coca-Cola has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to promote the Arctic Home Project. In addition to Coke donating $2 million to the WWF, the company will also be matching consumer donations up to $1 million through March 15, 2011.
Donations collected during campaign will go to Arctic Home Project research efforts, which will help the WWF locate/identify areas of Arctic sea ice that might be less vulnerable to climate change. This “Last Ice” area may be the only refuge for polar bears able of supporting them for decades into the future. Donations to the Arctic Home Project can be texted to 357357 in $1 increments or online at www.arctichome.com.
Just one month into the campaign, Coca-Cola has decided to ditch the white can design, citing consumer complaints as the primary reason behind the decision. Apparently, consumers have had trouble discerning between the original Coke flavor wrapped in this temporary can design and the diet version. Many consumers have even said the flavor of the beverage is “tastes different”. Although Coca-Cola will cease production of the new can design, the World Wildlife Fund will still receive their donation pledge.