Crispin dips into the past for Coke Zero ad

Polamalu copy

The ubiquitous Crispin Porter + Bogusky has remade Coca-Cola's famous 1980 "Mean Joe Greene" commercial for the Super Bowl on behalf of Coke Zero. Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu takes over the role of the surly, injured player on his way to the locker room. Presumably, there's also new pre-teen kid who offers him a Coke Zero, as the original actor would be getting a bit long in the tooth. (When a 40-year-old guy follows an athlete around the catacombs of a sports arena, we call it stalking.) But you never know. The client promises an unexpected twist that illustrates how the product delivers "real Coke taste and zero calories." So, there's a surprise in store. Does Polamalu tear off a false face to reveal Mean Joe, still surly, beneath? (Joe wouldn't stand for that Coke Zero swill, by the way. He'd demand the "Real Thing.") Maybe the original kid actor, now grown up, appears to tell us all to stop fixating on overhyped pro sports and commercials and get a life. In the trippy Coke universe, anything's possible. UPDATE: Phil Mooney, the historian/archivist for Coca-Cola, has posted some behind-the-scenes footage from the spot on his Coca-Cola Conversations blog.

—Posted by David Gianatasio