Mike Burns, Co-Founder of CanMuseum.com, takes his yearly look at Coke's holiday beverage cans
This year, Coca-Cola teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) again to raise awareness and money to help save the Polar Bears. To promote this cause they again released two different Arctic Home Polar Bear cans. They did not, however, make the same mistake as last year by releasing a white can and later a red can. This year, both cans are red.
The first of the polar bear cans shows three polar bears standing on silver snow in front of the recognized Coca-Cola red. From left to right there is a baby polar bear facing right, an older sibling facing left and a parent who is also facing left. All of the polar bears are looking at each other. A very large Coca-Cola logo appears in white across the top half of the can in the red sky and much smaller in red at the bottom in the silver snow. Vertically to the left of the large logo and baby polar bear, the can reads, "JOIN COCA-COLA & WORLD WILDLIFE FUND TO HELP PROTECT THE POLAR BEAR AT ARCTICHOME.COM".
The second polar bear can is almost identical to the first can. It shows the same polar bear family, but this time from left to right we see the baby polar bear and the parent polar bear facing right, but looking at us, followed by the older sibling polar bear facing and looking left.
Coca-Cola replaced the polar bears with the Sundblom Santa this year on the smaller 7.5 FL OZ (222 mL) cans which are sold in 8 packs. Since they are not Arctic Home Polar Bear cans they also do not have last year's special red plastic band holding the cans together. On this can, the focus is a Sundblom-famous Santa with his eyes closed drinking an ice cold Coca-Cola from a bottle with a red label.
On the original 1949 artwork Santa was facing the opposite direction and there is no red and white logo on the bottle, but this alteration definitely makes the logo stand out in comparison. If you compare the can and the ad you will see some other subtle alterations as well. Above Santa is the Cola-Cola logo (not as large as on the polar bear cans, perhaps 1/5 of the can), and below it in white are the words, "HOLIDAY 2012". To the left of Santa we see the normal Cola-Cola logo vertically printed from the bottom. The "la" in Cola are missing for lack of room. Even the "Co" in Cola are trimmed a little for the same reason. This type of logo chopping is similar to Coca-Cola's Diet Coke cans.
This review only focuses on the Coca-Cola Holiday 2012 cans, however, you may have seen other Coke products with holiday designs. I find them to be a little boring as they simply have snowflakes of different shapes and sizes added to them, but it is better than nothing I suppose. The snowflake cans I have seen this year are: Coke Zero, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Sprite and Sprite Zero.
Holiday cans are a tradition that I look forward to seeing each year. Coca-Cola usually sticks to different iterations of their Sundblom Santa and Polar Bear designs. I think the most fun holiday/winter cans I have seen were from Pepsi in 1990.
Photos used by permission of CanMuseum.com