Coca-Cola’s Polar Bears, Now 25 Years Old, Return to Share Their Rules for a Loving Household

Agency David builds on its earlier, heartwarming spot

The bear family has been a Coca-Cola marketing icon for 25 years. David Sao Paulo

If you want to feel old, drink in the fact that Coca-Cola’s beloved polar bears are now 25 years old.

In a 45-second Christmas ad created by agency David Sao Paulo, the bears offer life lessons akin to Little Golden Books and continue to give viewers all the feels.

“Christmas Rules” shows the polar bear family readying their home for Christmas. House rules are simple: if you need help, ask; keep traditions alive; connect with loved ones far away; and always have room for one more guest.

Set to a cover of Phillip Phillips’ “Home,” the ad ends with a neighboring penguin family joining the bears for dinner.

“We’re bringing back the Coca-Cola Bears to talk about ‘Christmas Rules,’ which is a follow-up campaign to our ‘Household Rules’ campaign from earlier this year,” said Rafael Donato, creative vice president at David Sao Paulo.

“Household Rules,” which launched last summer, also used a cover of “Home” and highlighted house rules that many of us learned as kids—but might need to be reminded about in an era of polarization and chronic incivility. Some examples from that earlier spot: Always keep promises, share, listen, and dry a loved one’s tears.

Coca-Cola’s polar bears were invented by creative strategist Ken Stewart, inspired by his pet Labrador that had always reminded him of a polar bear. Working with cutting-edge animation house Rhythm & Hues and agency CAA, he brought the concept to life in time to air in an ad called “Northern Lights” during the 1993 Academy Awards.

In the 25 years since, the polar bears have been a central pillar of Coca-Cola’s brand identity.

Below are the credits for the newest installment, “Christmas Rules.”

Agency: David SP
Client: Coca-Cola Brazil
Managing director: Sylvia Panico
Creative VP: Rafael Donato
Creative Director: Edgard Gianesi
Copywriter: Lucas Silva, Lucas Vigliar, Fernanda Machado
Art Director: Fabio Natan, Thiago Ferreira, Christiano Vellutini
Producers DAVID: Fabiano Beraldo, Fernanda Peixoto, Gustavo Viola
Editor: Leonardo Nichida
Account: Carolina Vieira, Stefane Rosa, Cacá Franklin, Fernanda Feldmann, Camila Coelho, Pedro Zetune
Head of Innovation: Toni Ferreira
Planning: Daniela Bombonato, Carolina Silva e Bruno Gomiero
Social media: Lucas Patrício
Media: Márcia Mendonça, Camila Fiuza, Diego Rolim, Leila Pereira e Manuela Cintra
Producer Company: Vetor Zero
Director: Alton
Executive producers: Alberto Lopes e Sergio Salles
Editors: Eduardo Silva e Ricardo Vaz
Account: Fernanda Germek e Marcia Guimarães
Producer: Eduardo Silva e Ricardo Vaz
Sound Production: Jamute
Producers: James Pinto e Leck Gomes
Voice: Luiza Caspary
Clients Approval: Selman Careaga, Beatriz Bottesi, Keila Marconi, Augusto Veríssimo, Flavio Reghini e Poliana Tonelli

Amy Corr is a contributor to Adweek.