Today on Planet 100: Top 5 Videos Starring Polar Bears (Video)

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Polar bears are the world's largest land carnivores—with adult males topping out over 1,500 pounds—and, unlike other bear species, satisfy most of their dietary needs through hunting. These large predators, however, are vulnerable.

Threatened by climate change, a shrinking habitat, encroaching competitors, pollution, and human hunting, the global polar bear population has been in steady decline for decades—and some experts have predicted local extinctions in 30 years or less.This vulnerability, combined with the bears' charisma, has made them the iconic spokes-species for a range of environmental campaigns. From electric cars to carbon emissions, polar bears have found a home in advertising as their native habitats melt away.

Here are the top five campaigns featuring polar bears:

5. Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf Polar Bear commercial has been called everything from adorable to smug to ironic.

The commercial features a polar bear who leaves his melting glacier to surprise a suburban commuter with a hug to say thank you for driving the fully electric Nissan Leaf. A Nissan marketing VP said the ad is meant to offer "a little twist, perhaps a wink" at other self-serious green products ads.

Read more: Nissan LEAF Ad Puts Global Warming Front and Center (Video)
4. When You Feel It

In at number four, a Brazilian ad agency's clever global warming campaign is called: "When you feel it, it's already too late."

The video shows a businessman coming and going to work while his comfortable home gets smaller and smaller everyday. Eventually it becomes so small that he's forced to sit outside it. And guess who else's home is shrinking due to global warming? That's right, Mr. Polar Bears.

3. Animated Polar Bears

UK non profit Friends of the Earth harness the awesome power of animated polar bears to make a point about climate change.

In the video, two animated polar bears muse on the causes of global warming. The duo consider everything from synthetic fishing lines to blue hats, disregarding humans as a possible cause because of course we would never do such a thing to them.

2. Plane Stupid

In at number two, we've featured this video on show before, but these polar bears plummeting from the skies packs such a powerful punch, it just had to be reprised.

In an effort to raise awareness about CO2 emissions associated with short haul flights, UK non profit Plane Stupid's distressing campaign features dead polar bears falling to earth as a plane is heard overhead. The organization hopes this will encourage people to think before they book.

Read more: New TV Ad Shows Polar Bears Falling to Gruesome Deaths (Video)
1. Polar Bear Art

New Yorkers are treated to sidewalk polar bear installation courtesy of artist Tim Godsall.

The Ogilvy produced campaign for the Environmental Defense Fund brings the plight of polar bears to the streets of New York, encouraging us to fight global warming and save the polar bears by ditching cars and taking public transport.

More about this episode of Planet 100
Planet 100 on Planet Green
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