This Sunday, Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu, one of football’s most electrifying players, takes on the starring role in “Mean Troy,” a new Coke Zero ad that puts an unexpected twist on the iconic Coca-Cola “Mean Joe Greene” commercial.
On February 1, nearly 100 million fans watching NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII will see Polamalu shine on the field, but one of the Pro Bowl safety’s biggest hits of the day may come in the first Coke Zero ad ever to air during the Super Bowl telecast. In the 30-second spot, Polamalu reprises the part made famous by Pittsburgh Steelers legend “Mean” Joe Greene, but in true Coke Zero style, he takes the role in an entirely different direction.
The first 12 seconds of the new Coke Zero spot are certain to cause double-takes as they mimic the look of the original ad. The scene opens with Polamalu limping down a tunnel to the locker room, followed closely by a young fan who offers an ice-cold Coke Zero to his battered hero. All similarities end there as the action takes a surprising turn to humorously reinforce that with Coke Zero, it’s possible to have “Real Coke Taste and Zero Calories.”
“The Coca-Cola ‘Mean Joe Greene’ ad is one of the most famous commercials of all time, so I was blown away when they asked me to be in this new spot,” said Polamalu. “Following Joe’s performance is tough, but because my Coke Zero ad has a totally unpredictable twist, we got to put a new spin on it. We’re keeping the ending a surprise, but I think people will get a kick out of the intensity I display to get my hands on the real Coke taste of Coke Zero.”
Since its launch in 2005, growth for Coke Zero continues to accelerate. The brand grew by 35 percent in 2007 and maintained this level of performance through August 2008, reaching a 1.5 share in the Sparkling Soft Drink category (Neilsen – Q3 2008).
For the third consecutive year, new commercials for Coca-Cola will also appear in the Super Bowl telecast with the introduction of two spots from the brand’s new global “Open Happiness” campaign. “Open Happiness,” which launched just last week, invites people to open a Coke and enjoy a simple moment of pleasure.
“Our brands are part of the fun and celebrations that friends and families experience when they gather to enjoy big events,” said Katie Bayne, chief marketing officer, Coca-Cola North America. “People watch the Super Bowl broadcast as much for the ads as the game itself, so it’s a great way to remind people of what Coca-Cola and Coke Zero share in common – great Coca-Cola taste.”
A 60-second animated spot, entitled “Heist,” features a man dozing off in a park, unaware of a plot among the park’s smaller inhabitants to unite in an effort to abscond with his Coca-Cola.
The 30-second “Avatar” shows how people in today’s busy world use technology to stay virtually linked, creating a lack of real connection. When two people in a diner unexpectedly share a Coca-Cola, the human connection breaks down digital walls and creates a moment of happiness.
Following its debut, “Mean Troy” will continue to air in a variety of programming and an expanded 60-second version will run in movie theaters across the country. The Coca-Cola “Open Happiness” campaign made its debut on American Idol last week and additional spots are slated to launch in coming weeks. Crispin Porter + Bogusky created the new “Mean Troy” ad and the “Open Happiness” campaign was developed by Wieden + Kennedy in Portland.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 450 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, POWERADE, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our Web site at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.