Coke “Harmony”

Think of this Nascar-themed Coca-Cola spot as a high-speed collision between two familiar admonitions: “don’t quit your day job” and “don’t try this at home.” Created by Wieden + Kennedy, it features Nascar drivers giving an amazingly off-key rendition of the “buy the world a Coke” anthem (that’s the “don’t quit your day job” part) as they zoom their race cars around a Nascar track (“don’t try it at home!”). The spot made its debut on the Daytona 500 telecast this past weekend, but even non-Nascar fans would enjoy the spectacle of these drivers singing as they sideswipe one another, try to avoid cars that have spun out in front of them, and so on. The contrast between the hell-on-wheels racing and the old song (which, played straight, would likely seem too sweet for today’s jaded sensibilities) is just edgy enough to make Coke seem thoroughly modern but not disparaging of its heritage. In a nice touch, one of the drivers is especially off-pitch as he sings the line about “perfect harmony.” Showing us the stress the drivers endure during the race (and the respite a swig of Coke provides), it’s a smart setup for the brand’s current “open happiness” tagline. —Mark Dolliver