The cute and cuddly polar bears that take the spotlight on the Coca-Cola cans during the holiday season have some hidden, if not subliminal messaging, that the makers admit was intentional.
From the eyes, to lashes, and noses, the nondescript cans that millions of families pull off the shelf make sure to have a level of inception that keeps you thinking about the product even when you have no reason to think about the product.
"This year, we wanted to keep the same look and personality while creating a more graphic illustration style that would be easy to print around the world," said Frederic Kahn, design director of Coca-Cola. "We also wanted to embed signature Coca-Colaelements so the Coca-Cola polar bears could immediately be recognizable as our asset."
Kahn did a full interview on the brand website, detailing what would and would not be included in the family of bears.
The eyes are not just black circles. They are bottle caps.
The noses are not just glistened with light. They have small, glass Coca-Cola bottles.
And, the mouths... well, yeah, not just regular mouths. They reveal the Coca-Cola ribbon, scripted in the negative space.
"If you look closely at the bears, you will see bottle caps used for their eyes, where the edge of the angled bottle cap becomes eyelashes, and bottle shaped reflections on their noses," Kahn said. "When the bears are seen from the side, several have Coca-Cola dynamic ribbons as mouths, and we have some bears holding and drinking Coca-Cola from the contour bottle. The illustrations feel fresh and playful and capture special holiday moments of family togetherness."
When purchasing the multi-packs of cans, the bears are offset with a red disc. That disc unifies the look across Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Life, Coca-Cola Zero and Diet Coke. The advertising campaign, entitled 'Taste the Feeling' went above and beyond to tie the imagery together.
"While design agencies are still very much part of our portfolio and ecosystem, there is also something unique about working directly with specialist talent," explains James Sommerville, Vice President of Global Design at Coca-Cola.
So the next time you find yourself inexplicably tied to brand loyalty, look no further than those bears that made you think of Coca-Cola.