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Watch: Behind The Scenes Of Nissan's Poignant Polar Bear Commercial

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After seeing Nissan’s surprisingly touching polar bear-themed commercial for their new 100% electric, gasoline-free LEAF, the one question on everybody’s mind is, “How the heck did they pull that off?!?” Our culture has a soft spot for the Arctic-dwelling Ursus maritimus — perhaps due to pangs of guilt we feel regarding how our activities have compromised the ice-covered world that they thrive in – but they’re not exactly the type of creatures that can be easily cozied up to.

How is it that Aggie the polar bear was captured in a warm embrace with Nissan’s leading man? A veteran of many commercials, the female bear (clocking in at several hundred pounds) actually hugged her trainer who she was very familiar with as someone off camera fed her treats impaled on the tip of a very long pole. As for the actor, he ended up giving bear hugs to a dude in a polar bear costume and even practiced ‘air hugging’ rather than actually engaging with the somewhat-tame yet still potentially threatening polar bear actress.

Thanks to the marvels of computer generated tweakery, production specialists were even able to splice nature documentary footage of polar bears swimming and drifting on ice along with separately filmed scenes of Aggie trodding upon a road solo to ensure her safety (a truck then drove over the same path and the footage was combined in the final spectacularly convincing ad).

So are we really to believe that a polar bear would tread all the way from its native arctic territory into human stomping grounds just to thank a guy for going electric? Seems like a bit of a stretch, but as Nissan acknowledges, we must embrace greener forms of technology as a necessary baby step toward a brighter future. We’ve all got to at least try to make a difference somehow, don’t you agree?

Via USA Today

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