ATLANTA -- The iconic red Coke can, one of the most recognizable product designs in vending machines and in coolers, is turning arctic white on Nov. 1. Coca-Cola Co. said it is set to unveil a specially designed Coke can as part of a marketing campaign aimed at protecting polar bears and their habitat.
The cold drink giant has teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund for the campaign. The distinctive Coke package will be mostly white in color, unlike Coke's traditional red and white can, to promote the cause. It's also committing up to $3 million to WWF's polar bear conservation efforts.
The first-ever white design will appear on more than 1.4 billion cans, while white bottle caps will be used on other Coca-Cola brands like Minute Maid and Nestea.
"We want to help the polar bear, a beloved Coca-Cola icon since 1922, by helping conserve its Arctic habitat," said Coca-Cola chairman and chief executive Muhtar Kent. "That's why we're using one of our greatest assets, our flagship brand, Coca-Cola, to raise awareness of this important cause. And by partnering with WWF, we can truly make a positive difference for these majestic animals."
In addition to its monetary donation, Coke is also asking fans in the U.S. to join the Arctic Home campaign by texting donations.
The polar bear's survival is said to be threatened by shrinking Arctic ice. Polar Bears International, a conservation group, estimates there are 20,000 to 25,000 bears left, with about 60% living in Canada. The U.S. listed polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008, while Canada has them listed as a species of special concern.