Wednesday, November 11, 2009

“Mean” Joe Greene and Tommy Okon Will Reunite Before Steelers/Bengals

I got this in my inbox today:


I wanted to let you know about a fun pre-game ceremony with legendary Steelers defensive tackle “Mean” Joe Greene that’s happening before this Sunday’s huge Steelers/Bengals game.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the famous Coca-Cola commercial with Greene that TV Guide called one the best commercials ever. Well, this fall marks the 30th anniversary of the ad and Greene will be at Heinz Field this Sunday (11/15) to accept his Clio award for his work in the ad, which recognizes creative excellence in advertising.

Greene won the award in 1979 but wasn't available to accept the award at the time, and never received the hardware over the past 30 years. Coca-Cola recently secured the trophy and is presenting it to Greene in the special pre-game ceremony with Tommy Okon, the boy in the commercial who famously offered Joe his Coke. As part of the event, Greene and Okon will reunite for the first time in years.

This fall marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic “Mean Joe” TV ad for Coca-Cola, which featured the feared lineman limping down a tunnel to the locker room, followed closely by then-nine-year-old Tommy Okon, who offered a battered Greene his ice-cold Coca-Cola. As a gesture of thanks, Greene tossed his coveted jersey to the boy, who stood in amazement after encountering his hero.

The “Mean Joe” ad debuted on network television during the 1979 Major League Baseball playoffs and has been universally lauded – TV Guide called it one of the best commercials ever, and it was named among the most innovative, creative and effective spots of all time by the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

After it aired, tens of thousands of viewers sent letters to The Coca-Cola Company, and Hollywood producers even capitalized on its popularity by developing a made-for-TV- movie starring Greene, entitled “The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid.”

In January 2009, Coke Zero offered a new twist on the old favorite, this time debuting an ad starring current Steelers great Troy Polamalu.

So there you have it. This Sunday. Go Steelers!

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