Coca-Cola is Seeing Red and Merry…Holidays!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. However, a while back at the beginning of November, I made a post regarding potential confusion over the new white Coke cans. Well apparently Coca-Cola recently announced that they would be switching the WWF polar bear cans to red (the colour well-assoicated with the brand) after many consumers picking up and opening the white can thinking it was the diet variation of the soft drink.

As you can see below, this season’s Hong Kong Coca-Cola can went straight to the red polar bear packaging:

Hong Kong can – Merry Christmas

Interestingly, the graphics on the package remain similar to North America’s white polar bear cans promoting the World Wildlife Fund. However, the red cans from HK don’t state anything about WWF or the arctic. Instead, they read ‘Merry Christmas’. It goes to show how Coca-Cola has used polar bears in their holiday campaigns so effectively that the identical graphic elements can conveniently be used for different efforts; 1) for the animal organization’s arctic conservation in one part of the world and 2) for Christmas packaging on the other side of the world.


Recent Coca-Cola holiday packaging in North America have leaned towards using the term ‘Holiday’ instead of ‘Christmas’:

Holiday 2007! Which holiday? I guess all of them!

Perhaps, this is a way to appeal to all people celebrating different holidays. With Canada and USA being home to citizens from a variety of cultures, this is a safe way to avoid excluding any groups. I believe NBA star Michael Jordan once said, the reason he never openly supported or endorsed a politician was because he did not want to affect his shoe sales. He figured supporters of the opposing group would stop purchasing his products.

So, the Coke cans are back to red (as they have been forever). As someone who engages in art and drawing, I personally like the unique look of white polar bear cans, but from a business/marketing point, they should always be dominantly red. With thats said, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays, and Happy Boxing Day!

** Boxing Day is a holiday in Canada but has nothing to do with punching other people in the face. It’s a little like our version of Black Friday, where a lot of shoppers fill up every retail store and go crazy over deals. So maybe during the chaos, people actually do get punched in the face.


Filed under branding

8 responses to “Coca-Cola is Seeing Red and Merry…Holidays!

  1. Umm…Boxing Day isn’t about punching people in the face?
    *Drops boxing gloves on the floor* I guess I’ve been doing it wrong all these years…

    Merry Christmas! ;)

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