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The Early Lead
Posted at 04:38 PM ET, 01/30/2012

Super Bowl ads 2012: The Coca-Cola polar bears are back

Coca-Cola’s cute, cuddly, caffeine-crazed polar bears will make their triumphant return to the smallscreen in new commercials to be aired during Super Bowl XLVI.

Nothing parches the palate quite like a ferocious endangered carnivore in a red scarf dancing around a polar ice cap. And nothing quenches a thirst quite like a jaw-dropping catch — followed by an ice-cold Coke.

It’s a wonder Coca-Cola waited this long to bring the bears back for the greatest soft drink reception in Super Bowl commercial history.

Ladies and gentlemen, ‘The Catch.’

And Coca-Cola’s return to the North Pole doesn’t stop there. The Coke bears are hosting their own Super Bowl viewing party which will be aired live during the game at CokePolarBowl.com. It’s all part of a grand plan to take advantage of the burgeoning social media industry and its role on the biggest sports television event of the year in the U.S.

“The trick is to be everywhere consumers are,” Pio Schunker, Coke North America head of integrated marketing platforms and content, told USA Today.

With a 30-second during NBC’s broadcast going for a rate of $3.5 million, trying to build hype on Facebook and Twitter makes sense.

As the big game nears and the anticipation continues to build for a rematch between Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and Eli Manning’s New York Giants, we’ll be giving you sneak peaks at the ads you will see during the game. Check a playlists of ads from this year and last year’s best efforts — including Volkswagon’s Lil’ Darth Vader classic — with our video playlist  here .

How will this year’s lineup stack up to year’s past? And which companies will hit the mark?

More Super Bowl coverage from Washington Post Sports:

Super Bowl ads 2012: GM’s ‘Chevy Happy Grad’

Super Bowl ads 2012: John Stamos does Dannon Oikos

Giants, Patriots prepare for rematch of memorable Super Bowl XLII

Early Lead: Who will win Super Bowl XLVI?

Cultural zeitgeist, scored by Super Bowl commercials

By  |  04:38 PM ET, 01/30/2012

 
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