Ad of the Day: Coca-Cola

The brand's polar bears weather some family drama in this six-minute short, produced by Ridley Scott

Meet the Coca-Cola polar bears—or the latest version of them. They're your not-quite-average suburban bear family, wandering across the tundra.

This is the brand's new six-minute film about the bears, from agency CAA Marketing, director John Stevenson and producer Ridley Scott. Dad is gruff. An important bear. He's got a voice like James Earl Jones. Mom is affable. She makes sure the kids have healthy egos. And that Dad keeps in touch with his softer side. Girl just wants to have fun, meaning dancing and swimming like Esther Williams with puffins. Dad doesn't want her hanging out with puffins because they are a bad influence. Boy just wants to have fun, too, meaning goofing off and getting an adrenaline rush, and embarrassing Dad in front of the entire uptight bear community. The uptight bear community includes catty grown women bears, and catty tween girl bears. Deep down, though, Dad is cool. He loves the kids, and knows how to do a mean cannonball, and tell all the uptight bears to shove off.

The Coca-Cola bears won't be winning any Oscars. The video relies too heavily on familiar devices. One YouTube commenter aptly calls it "Lion King & Happy Feet. Not like it's a bad thing… " In other words, it's hackneyed, but it's recognizable. This is lowest-common-denominator character development for a set of iconic mascots. It's visually nifty enough, if not at all groundbreaking.

It's an honest attempt at branded content—there aren't any Coke bottles written into the script. Next time, maybe there should be. Show us Jack, the kid bear, chugging a bottle before he bounces off the walls. He's clearly on a sugar high anyways.


Client: Coca-Cola

Agency: CAA Marketing

Production Company: Scott Free

Director: John Stevenson

Producers: Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Michael Costigan

Animation: Animal Logic

Full credits at the end of the video

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.