The Mean Joe Greene Coke Commercial: ‘Hey Kid, Catch’

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Coca Cola WarholSince it’s not every day that an iconic piece of all-American packaging celebrates its 100th birthday, Best Classic Bands thought we’d enjoy “the pause that refreshes” for a moment and pop open a nice cold one.

We’re referring, of course, to the famous contour bottle that the Coca-Cola company patented more than 100 years ago on November 16, 1915.

Over the years, it’s been available in various colors and sizes, but we’ve always stubbornly preferred the green 6.5 oz. version that we grew up with. Andy Warhol apparently also preferred that one; his painting of it is included in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. That particular bottle was discontinued a few years ago.

We’re sharing two memorable Classic Videos to commemorate the NFL season. First up, the award-winning spot that starred then-Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle “Mean Joe” Greene. It first ran on October 1, 1979 and proved so popular that Coca-Cola ran it during Super Bowl XIV in 1980. (Imagine that… a spot running on the Super Bowl that had already been airing for months…)

When it debuted, Greene was 33 years old and would play for two more seasons. Mean Joe earned two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 and is the last surviving member of the legendary Steel Curtain. Greene was born on September 24, 1946.

“Hey kid, catch!”

We have just one question: Where was the security staff that prevented the kid from walking down the players’ tunnel? Yeah, we know: suspend your disbelief.

Greene and the “Coca-Cola Kid” reunited in 2016

Here’s another ad, this time for Diet Coke, that featured plenty of long-ago NFL stars

Super Bowl LVIII takes place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev., on February 11, 2024. Unfortunately, it’s been a while since the halftime entertainment has been a classic rock act. NFL tickets are available here.

Related: Our feature on Prince’s legendary Super Bowl performance in the rain

Best Classic Bands Staff

3 Comments so far

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  1. Rob Holland
    #1 Rob Holland 7 January, 2017, 18:58

    The B&W commercial sounds a lot like Glenn Yarbrough……

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  2. John Rose
    #2 John Rose 12 September, 2018, 07:37

    Glenn was still in the Limeliters when they recorded the Coke jingle.

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