Remember Max Headroom? I never watched the show. I remember the Art of Noise music video that had Max, and this commercial, but otherwise he had little effect on me. Me sainted muther bought me a Max Headroom Tee shirt back in the 80s (bless her heart), but I mostly wore it under sweaters doused in Polo.
Never being one to follow foot-a-ma-ball, I never knew much about Mean Joe Greene. I could, however, gather from the commercial that Greene was a player of the sport, AKA a gridiron great. This commercial was redone for many countries starring many different sports figures.
I recall a Mad or Cracked magazine parody with Mean Joe hurling a coke bottle at the kid. This commercial was later expanded into a movie starring Greene and Henry Thomas. They both disavow any knowledge of this film.
This is a pretty recognizable commercial for people of a certain age. It was a demonstration of how people from different cultures could get together as one, under the unifying supervision of a soft drink. We were all so full of shit in the 70s.
Secret shame: I have this song on my iPod. It doesn't sound any better than this version.
Break out the leg warmers, and keep an eye out for Better Off Dead's Monique (Diane Franklin). 'Coke is It' was later replaced in the late 90s by 'Yo Dawg, Coke is the Shizzle' (I think). This commercial comes to mind much lately because my family enjoys watching America's Funniest Home Videos (it's like Tosh.0, but approved for all audiences). It's the best place to catch videos of people getting hit in the nuts. Their theme song ends with sort of a 'Coke is It' musical sting.