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ATLANTA -- Coca-Cola is ramping up its association with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), committing up to $3 million to the WWF's polar bear conservation efforts. The beverage company is also asking fans in the United States to join the "Arctic Home" campaign by texting donations.
"We want to help the polar bear -- a beloved Coca-Cola icon since 1922 -- by helping conserve its Arctic habitat," said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co. "That's why we're using one of our greatest assets -- our flagship brand, Coca-Cola -- to raise awareness for this important cause. And by partnering with WWF, we can truly make a positive difference for these majestic animals."
Coca-Cola is raising awareness and funds to protect the polar bear's home by turning its iconic red cans white this holiday season. In addition, white caps will be on bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Nestea, Minute Maid and more. Coca-Cola has never before changed the color of its red can to support a cause, according to a company release.
Beginning Nov. 1, the red can background will be replaced with an all-white panorama, highlighted by the Coca-Cola script printed in red. The cans will also feature the image of a mother polar bear and her two cubs making their way across the Arctic. The white packaging will be on store shelves through February 2012.
Coca-Cola is making an initial donation of $2 million to WWF and inviting others to join the effort. Consumers can donate $1 to WWF by texting the package code to 357357. They can also donate online at www.ArcticHome.com, starting Nov. 1. Coca-Cola will match all donations made with a package code by March 15, 2012, up to a total of $1 million.
"Polar bears inspire the imagination. They're massive, powerful, beautiful and they live nowhere else except the Arctic. Their lives are intimately bound up with sea ice, which is now melting at an alarming rate," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF. "By working with Coca-Cola, we can raise the profile of polar bears and what they're facing, and most importantly, engage people to work with us, to help protect their home."
Coca-Cola and WWF are also partnering with Academy Award-nominated filmmaker MacGillivray Freeman Films, which is working with Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAXCorp. to co-produce the new IMAX film, "To The Arctic 3D", scheduled for release in 2012. Coca-Cola's "Arctic Home" television commercials and the content on the website, ArcticHome.com, feature sneak preview footage from the film.