Coca-Cola Polar Bears Count Down Delightful "Rules of Christmas"

Be silly. Don’t take your brand too seriously, as people smile at the silliness.

In their 25th anniversary celebration, the iconic Coca-Cola Polar Bears are back in Coca-Cola’s latest Christmas campaign. Classic Holiday situations inspire the new campaign called “Christmas Rules”, by DAVID São Paulo.

The campaign reminds us that everyone has a special role at the Christmas table, even if away from home. In this family there’s always room for one more. Now it’s the bear family’s turn to celebrate in great Xmas style – the decorated tree, the supper arrangements, the welcoming of guests and the selfie around the table. 

The short film including a 3D version of the tale, was produced by Vetor Zero. The new short film is also a sequel to the previous campaign, in which human families revealed positive values behind household rules, looking closely at the role of care in family relations.

“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. In order to capture these spontaneous moments, our production team spent the week at the North Pole with this beloved family. It was pretty cold up there, but the Bears made us feel right at home”, says Rafael Donato, creative VP at DAVID SP. 

Give us an overview of the campaign: what is it about and what was your role in its creation?

The campaign was based on the classic Coca-Cola holiday TV spot starring their iconic Polar Bears, who celebrated their 25th anniversary this year. As the script was based on the theme of “Christmas rules,” our role was to direct and oversee the creation of the latest ad.

Was the brief for this holiday campaign any different than the usual? What challenges did the project present?

The story takes place at the bears' house, which is the first time we see a more humanized home for the bear family. This is our contribution to this classic holiday narrative. The spot shares the same themes of a traditional Christmas script, but with a more modern spin and updated attitudes. The bears have iPads, they take selfies at the dinner table, and so on.

What inspired your approach to this campaign?

We wanted the consumer to feel like they were inside the house, and so we sought a very loose camera-use to add a handheld mobile feel. The spot also featured a bear family video chatting from a tropical locale--reflecting this, we wanted to craft a sunny film with more tropical textures and warm colors.

Do you have a “behind the scenes” story that only LOBO/Vetor Zero knows?

We wrote a software in Unity for this project to create the camera movements by our own hands in VR. It added a lot to the general feel of closeness and made the camera truly “handheld.”

Are there any holiday ad tropes that you think should be retired by now?

The Coca-Cola polar bears complete 25 years in 2018, which is a very successful lifespan for this kind of character. We've been amazed by how much audiences love them. The 3D crew talked a lot about the first bears: how impressive they were in terms of technology at the time, and the way the general public melted over their cuteness. The YouTube comments focus on tradition, family and other values the bears have inspired in them. If anyone faces retirement, it’s not Mister Bear and his family.

What is your favorite holiday campaign of all time?

We love the non-advertising Christmas movies like “More Stuff” by Blue Zoo Animation, our favorite holiday dialogue of all time is called “Los Reyes Magos EXISTEN”. (It’s a lot funnier if you’re a Spanish speaker.)

What can we expect from your agency in 2019?

We are looking forward to partnering with agencies and brands to continue to harness the power of animation to tell universal stories that connect people from all backgrounds.

What do you think the advertising industries’ New Year’s resolution should be?

We recommend three resolutions for the ad industry:

Be silly. Don’t take your brand too seriously, as people smile at the silliness.
Believe in the power of story. Advertising is not a lecture, conduct a dance with your audience
Give the impossible a chance. Animation makes your impossible idea possible.