Case Study: Arctic Home

how MacGillivray Freeman’s stunning footage bonded consumers to a bear and a brand


The story.

View how Coca-Cola and MacGillivray Freeman partnered to create an unprecedented corporate social responsibility campaign.

The need.

In 2011, Coca-Cola set out to launch the largest integrated marketing campaign ever undertaken by the company—all centered on the conservation of the brand’s mascot, the polar bear. Coca-Cola’s greatest challenge in executing this campaign was to do it in a way that would be both authentic to consumers—and to their mission as a socially responsible company. And of course, the campaign also had to drive product sales.

They quickly realized that only by putting real polar bears at the center of all campaign marketing (something they had never done previously) would they be able to forge the emotional connection with consumers that would then motivate them to take action to protect this critically endangered species.

Not only did one of the world’s leading and most recognizable brands need real-life footage of polar bears—they needed the highest-quality footage in existence that would be true to their brand.

The solution.

When Coca-Cola partnered with MacGillivray Freeman Films on the campaign, they received much more than best-in-class footage—they benefitted from an association with the highest-grossing and highest-quality documentary ever made about this iconic animal, To the Arctic.

Imagery from our 2012 IMAX film To the Arctic became the heart of their campaign—bringing to life the story of the polar bear and the Coca-Cola brand in a way that had never been done in its more than 100-year history.

Footage from the film was used across all marketing consumer touch points, including award-winning commercial spots, online videos, customer promotions, the campaign website and more. The film itself benefitted from branding across all Coca-Cola products and marketing platforms during the campaign time period—further driving eyeballs and theatre attendance.

The results.

The staggering results of the campaign point to the huge impact that real-life imagery from the film had on consumers. Because of Coca-Cola’s association with To the Arctic, the campaign generated:

1.2 billion media impressions

$4 million in donations to support Arctic conservation

A 10% increase in brand love

A 2% percent increase in company reputation

A sizable increase in sales from previous holiday campaign

The most successful commercials in Coca-Cola Canada history

Following the evaluation of each value component of the campaign (engagement, sales and societal), the campaign was found to be Coca-Cola’s most successful holiday campaign ever.

  • The Coca-Cola Company could not possibly have captured what it’s like to be in the Arctic. It required a level of expertise that a typical Madison Avenue advertising agency would not have had. Our partnership with MacGillivray Freeman is the way of the future and can really be a model for addressing some of our greatest challenges and our greatest opportunities.

    Abigail Rodgers
    Abigail RodgersFormer Vice President, Marketing, The Coca-Cola Company