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1993: Coca-Cola introduces its iconic polar bears to the world with 1993 ‘Northern Lights’ commercial

To celebrate the Ad Club of New York's 120th anniversary, The Drum is inviting readers to share their favorite marketing moments from the past 120 years.

Today we feature Coca-Cola’s iconic polar bears, which made their debut in the drink brand’s 1993 ‘Northern Lights’ commercial.

Although Coca-Cola featured a polar bear in a print ad in France in 1922, the animated bears that the brand is known for today were created by director Ken Stewart in the early ‘90s. The bears were part of the brand’s global ‘Always Coca-Cola’ campaign created by Creative Artists Agency, which had an initial run of 27 commercials that were designed to appeal to different audiences.

According to the company, Stewart thought that his Labrador retriever resembled a polar bear when it was a puppy, serving as an inspiration for the ‘Northern Lights’ spot.

Stewart enlisted the help of animation company Rhythm & Hues to create the ad, which took about 12 weeks to make.

Since then, the bears have become a staple of Coca-Cola’s advertising, even appearing in a Super Bowl ad for the brand in 2012.

See the full 120 Marketing Moments in the dedicated online section and find out how to purchase the exclusive book.

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