Coca-Cola’s Polar Bear Debacle

Photo by The Rocketeer

Coca-Cola executives meant well. But their customers had a different idea about the beverage giant’s partnership with World Wildlife Fund. By putting a polar bear on Coke cans, “to raise awareness and funds to help create a safe haven for the polar bear – an Arctic refuge,” it inadvertently led consumers to confuse diet with regular Coke. Not good if you’re weight conscious or diabetic.

Now Coke is having to backpedal. The cans are being recalled. Thanks to Raz Godelnik over at Triple Pundit there’s this back story on the promotion.

With all due respect, I beg to differ that this is, “another story of good intentions gone wrong.” I really like this cause-marketing promotion despite its implications. And it’s beautifully rendered for the holiday season. Consider the conversation it started, not to mention the passions it ignited.

What brand wouldn’t kill to evoke these emotions?

Yes, yes, it’s a scary thought that a diabetic could mistakenly consume a sugared Coke product. That aside, I think the polar bear debacle was an early Christmas gift for two legacy brands—WWF and Coca-Cola.