Uncovering the Untold Story of the Kid in the Mean Joe Green Commercial: How He Became an Icon [Infographic]

Uncovering the Untold Story of the Kid in the Mean Joe Green Commercial: How He Became an Icon [Infographic]

Short answer: Kid in Mean Joe Green commercial

Tommy Okon was the kid in the iconic Coca-Cola commercial known as “Mean Joe Green.” The commercial first aired during Super Bowl XIV in 1980 and has become a classic. Tommy was chosen for the role from over 500 other auditionees and had previous acting experience.

How the Kid in Mean Joe Green Commercial Became a Symbol of American Pop Culture

In 1979, a commercial featuring NFL player Mean Joe Greene and a young boy debuted during the Super Bowl. The ad showed Greene limping off the field before being handed a Coca-Cola by the boy. A simple gesture that seemingly put the football star in good spirits, which leads to him tossing his jersey to the child as a sign of gratitude. Not only did this advertisement captivate millions of viewers around the globe, but it also had an unintended effect- it transformed that young boy into an enduring symbol of American pop culture.

The Polaroid camera captured memories, Big Mac burgers celebrated international famous sandwiches succulent taste, Nintendo Switch gaming systems revolutionized portable gaming; these products and many others have been advertised and changed how we consume or experience them forever. Nonetheless, none have affected American pop culture quite like the “Kid in Mean Joe Green Commercial.” originally played by Tommy Okon.

As with most pop culture symbols, people viewed themselves in him or his actions or saw something relatable that they could connect and identify. This meant that kids all around America could picture themselves engaging in their aspirational dreams while having pride in himself despite potential obstacles.

After its premiere during a commercial break at Super Bowl XIII Most Valuable Player Award ceremony where Terry Bradshaw presented it along with Ahman Green featured for Gillette Techmatic razor blade product promo ad; viewers were hooked on this endearing story right away. No one anticipated what would happen when people caught their first glimpse of little Tommy Okon’s character giving Greene—then coming out from behind—a bottle of Coke on television screens across America for just 30 seconds before fading into obscurity.

The response was stunning: Kids from all over identified with “the Kid,” admiring his bravery as he approached Greene to give him not only refreshment but comfort too—an emotional respite from defeat simply through kindness and empathy demonstrated through sharing Coca-Cola drink together (which also became fully engrained into the American culture).

Henceforward, Tommy Okon had become a household name, embodying the resilience and spirit of the American people in ways that struck at their very core. He was more than just a young boy in a commercial; he embodied an idea, a feeling of hope that permeated through American households.

Even though the ad is now over three decades old and Tommy Okon has long since moved on from being associated with it directly, his legend remains alive as an enduring symbol of pop culture. Every time someone mentions Mean Joe Greene’s commercial or talks about Coke doing good by others, they remember the brave kid who started it all- Tommy Okon. Through him lives some part of America’s collective consciousness and its ideas about kindness and empathy which still hold relevance today – an ever-enduring legacy that embodies what it means to be human: hope amidst despair, kindness towards those might not be able to repay you back.

Step by step Guide on how to Recreate the Iconic Kid in Mean Joe Green Commercial Look

We’ve all seen it a million times: the iconic Coca-Cola commercial from 1979 featuring NFL legend Mean Joe Greene and a young boy. If you’re feeling nostalgic, or just want to pay homage to this classic advertisement, there’s no better way than recreating the unforgettable look of that kid in the ad. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to do just that!

Step 1: Start with the hair
The boy in the commercial had curly brown hair with bangs. If your hair is already curly, consider yourself lucky – this will be an easy step for you! But if not, don’t worry. You can either crimp your straight hair using a crimping iron, or use foam rollers overnight to get those voluminous curls.

Once you have got them curls going, part your hair down the middle and style it into layers. Make sure you keep the front portions longer than other parts so that they are brushed into bangs.

Step 2: Clothes Make The Kid
The kid was wearing a red and white striped shirt which matched perfectly with his grey shorts. This gave him a perfect blend between laid-back street style and sporty smart look.

So for your own recreation of this vintage outfit, get yourself some red-and-white striped t-shirts (it could also be grey color) and pair them up with some grayish shorts. Remember- good fit always adds glamour to any outfit! So make sure both items are tailored properly according to your size.

Step 3: Add The Ragamuffin Look With Dirty Shoes And Socks
No kid ever looked immaculate during playtime but this particular little guy added charm by wearing dirty sneakers and rolled-down socks; giving him immortal swag!

Try finding kicks which match with your outfit but have been around the block once or twice – wash em’ off with soap and water while scrubbing them for that perfect worn-out effect. Next, roll down your socks and voila! that amazing ragamuffin look is all yours.

Step 4: Eye-Catching Accessory Time
This might be the most important part of the whole getup – that bright yellow and white Coca Cola scarf which this little legend wore with pride. You can’t exactly walk into a store and buy something as unique as that, but you can make your own!

Get yourself some plain white fabric or an old t-shirt or sheet would also suffice – just make sure it’s large enough. Then, use fabric paint in red to draw Coca-Cola logos onto your newly designed scarf.

Final Step: Strike The Pose
Now that you have put everything together, its time slay like kid from commercial archives. Strike a pose with one sock rolled down, holding out some imaginary soda! You can even consider recreating scene from actual commercial where he tosses the soda bottle to Mr. Green himself!

There it is folks –your step-by-step guide on how to recreate the quirky style featured in Mean Joe Greene’s iconic Coca-Cola commercial from 1979.
So dress up like him for Halloween party or any event you wish to attend- either way breaking out this playful recreation of an iconic character always worth trying out !

All You Need to Know about the Kid in Mean Joe Green Commercial: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

The iconic “Hey kid, catch!” Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola commercial from 1979 is a timeless classic in the world of advertising. Even decades later, it remains one of the most memorable and beloved commercials ever made.

But who exactly was the kid in the Mean Joe Greene commercial? And how did this unforgettable advertisement come to be? In this blog post, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about the making of this legendary ad.

Who is the Kid in the Commercial?

The kid in the Mean Joe Greene commercial is Tommy Okon. At the time of filming, he was just 9 years old and had never acted before. According to interviews, he was chosen for his role because he looked like a real fan and was able to project sincerity even when delivering lines that were somewhat complex for someone his age.

How Was Tommy Okon Cast?

According to Creative Director Roger Donnelly, they held open casting calls for three weeks in New York and Los Angeles in search for their perfect little boy co-star. After sifting through hundreds (if not thousands) of responses, they found young Okon’s photo among them.

Initially hesitant about auditioning due to shyness and self-consciousness regarding missing front teeth at the time (since grown out), Okon still appeared as an engaging personality on camera who could maintain eye contact naturally – all important criteria to be selected by Donnelly & Co., who were searching for a child actor without any prior television or movie experiences.

What Happened Behind-the-Scenes During Filming?

Filming took place over two days with multiple takes involved per scene; both considerations aimed at guaranteeing maximum authenticity on display which informed viewers’ immersive experiences during broadcasted airings across America that fall. Directed by Joseph Pytka; known for shooting more than 4000 ads since becoming one of Hollywood’s most sought after directors whose work includes spots for brands such as Nike, McDonald’s, and Pepsi.

In the commercial, Greene limps off the muddy football field after a tough game when Okon offers him a refreshing Coke which he initially declines. Later in the ad, while being escorted to his locker with tension on both his face and body from injury-induced pain, Greene then surprises Okon with an offer of his Steelers jersey washed as a token of appreciation for showing gentleness amidst such ruggedness that is sport.

However, during filming Tommy threw him the bottle too hard in one take causing Mean Joe to stutter at throwing back the jersey. Fortunately Pytka was able to personally reassure the boy that all was fine so it didn’t utterly make “the cut” out of what remains today seen by over 23 million YouTube viewers since posted days after airing back in ’79 on broadcasting networks across America late nineteen seventy-nine.

Why Was The Commercial So Popular?

The commercial became so popular because it tapped into a few key emotions: nostalgia (the 70s were already over by then), empathy (everyone can relate to feeling beat up after a long day), and kindness (everyone appreciates small acts of kindness). Additionally, because this commercial aired during Super Bowl XIII; it had one of television’s most coveted advertising spots thereby giving brand additional coverage beyond regular broadcasts due its placement during such huge annual events like football Sundays nationwide.


The Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola commercial was more than just an ad – It has become an enduring piece of pop culture history. Even today, it continues to inspire – recent watered down remakes targeting millennials aside – numerous campaigns still seek creative inspiration by borrowing elements from this timeless classic inventive spot as proof that good stories remain so authentically unforgettable no matter how fleeting even post-campaign period ends.

Top 5 Little Known Facts about the Kid in Mean Joe Green Commercial

The Coca-Cola commercial featuring football player Joe Greene and a young boy has been one of the most popular TV advertisements in history. The heartwarming story of an underdog kid who shares his Coke with a gruff, mean-looking professional footballer, only to receive a jersey as a token of appreciation in return, captured audiences’ attention and earned the admiration and respect of millions.

However, there are several lesser-known facts about this iconic commercial that make it even more interesting. Let’s take a look at the top five surprising yet fascinating details about the “Kid” in Mean Joe Green Commercial.

1) Tommy Okon – Not Just Any Kid

Many individuals auditioned for the role of “the kid” in the famous Coca-Cola ad, but only Tommie Okon fit perfectly into what was expected from him. The Pittsburgh native had years of acting experience even since he was six years old when he started performing on stage. In addition to his extensive acting skillset, he was also an exceptionally talented athlete and had impressive football skills.

2) A Sticky Situation

One little-known fact is that during filming, Tommie Okon’s hand got stuck to Mean Joe’s jersey due to all the glycerine used to achieve a sweat-like sheen on his skin; they had to stop production so that they could free him. This blooper inspired some amusing anecdotes from actors and crew members present on set.

3) A Game-Changing Ad

The idea behind revising sports advertising tactics with emotions is derived from this defining moment between two different generations- an aging professional football player amazed by compassion shown by innocence displayed by a young kid. It was refreshing compared to its competitors who relied solely on sex appeal or tired ideas like emphasizing steroids or machismo without rhyme or reason.

4) Real-life Inspiration Behind Kid Joseph Sarnecky

Joseph Sarnecky’s life provided inspiration for Tommie Okon when he portrayed “the kid” in the Mean Joe Greene commercial. Joseph Sarnecky was a young boy who grew up idolizing the Steelers and served as an inspiration for Tommie during filming, which added to his already excellent acting abilities.

5) The Kid Who Gave Away His Fame

While this ad catapulted Tommie Okon’s career in Hollywood with new doors opening with every passing day, he didn’t capitalize on his short-lived fame. It is unknown why Okon never turned back to pursue his career after being one of the most-seen faces on TV but became a dentist afterward. He fulfilled his dream of becoming a dentist like both his parents.

The above facts are just some example of how commercials at times may seep into our memories and shape our thoughts without us realizing it fully. Although it has been over four decades since this iconic Coca-Cola commercial aired, its message and popularity have yet to fade away.

Revisiting the Legacy of Mean Joe Greene and his Memorable Ad with the Kid

The NFL is one of the most iconic sports leagues in the world, featuring some of the biggest and most well-known names in American football. However, when it comes to legendary figures within the sport, few can match up to Mean Joe Greene.

The former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle was a force to be reckoned with on the field, earning himself an impressive four Super Bowl victories and being inducted into both the College Football and Pro Football Hall of Fames. However, even if you’re not a football fan, there’s a good chance you remember Greene for something else entirely: his unforgettable 1979 Coca-Cola commercial.

For those who haven’t seen it (and if that’s you, go on YouTube immediately), let me set the scene. A young boy sees Greene limping off the field after a game and decides to offer him some encouragement by giving him his bottle of Coke. In return, Greene tosses him his jersey before walking off. The message is simple – Coke brings people together – but it resonated with audiences in such a powerful way that it became one of the most iconic ads ever.

Nowadays we’re used to seeing partnerships between brands and celebrities, but back in 1979 this type of advertising was relatively new. And yet Greene’s natural charisma and impressive acting skills immediately made this ad stand out from anything else on TV at the time.

But what really makes this commercial resonate all these years later is how genuine it feels. Despite playing one of the toughest positions in football during one of its roughest eras (he played through everything from broken bones to concussions), Greene was known for having a heart as big as his biceps.

His willingness to take part in this commercial shows just how much he valued connecting with fans beyond just being their favorite player on Sundays. In many ways he paved the way for modern athletes who view social media as an opportunity to grow their personal brand while also expanding their influence and spreading a message.

As for the commercial’s success, it became so popular Coke actually re-released it in 2008 as part of a promotion with the NFL. And while Greene himself may have retired from football nearly 35 years ago, his impact can still be felt to this day.

In many ways, Mean Joe Greene represents everything people love about sports – the passion, the talent, and above all else, the ability to connect with others on a deeply emotional level. His legacy lives on not just through his incredible stats and countless accolades, but also through the way he touched millions of people by simply reaching out for that bottle of Coke.

Although the ad was aired in 1979 when I wasn’t yet functioning, it remains relevant today as much as it was then. The timeless lessons gleaned from this epic commercial can provide valuable insight for both individuals and businesses.

Firstly, we learn about empathy: When the young boy encountered Mean Joe Greene in his moment of despair(walking with a limp after a game), he could have simply passed him without saying anything or showing any interest. Still, instead of just walking away, he chose to check on him and offer him Coca-Cola. In our daily lives too often people are too busy to show empathy towards each other. It’s important to remember that reaching out to people who need help will make all the difference.

Secondly, kindness: The small act of giving someone a coke might seem inconsequential but ultimately has bigger connections outside just satisfying thirst; Mean Joe doesn’t just chug down the coke but rather acknowledges by throwing his jersey (which means so much more than a thank you). We should always strive to extend kindness beyond receiving something beneficial; we never know what effect acts of kindness may have on others.

Finally, branding & marketing strategy: The iconic Coca-Cola bottle featured at its centerstage divided into two parts separated by two signatures creating balance is symbolic enough for anyone watching without being too intrusive in conveying its purpose subtly. Brands do not only want their products seen by potential customers but also be integrated into their lifestyle making them use their products naturally and effectively like the Coke brand represented with this piece of content marketing—these three lessons tells us how critical it is for brands to integrate still-core human values/inclinations into advertisements or risk turning off its consumers.

In conclusion, the “Mean Joe Greene” ad remains a favorite because it highlights significant and timeless lessons about empathy, kindness, and effective brand strategy. The commercial serves as a lesson to all of us: simplicity and essential morals or values could go a long way in every aspect if implemented efficiently. Let it be our goal always to attract customers while keeping humanity at the front of our branding strategies.

Table with useful data:

Name of the kid Brand featured in the commercial Year of the commercial Background of the commercial
Tommy Okon Coca-Cola 1979 A football game where the kid offers his Coke to Mean Joe Green, a football star. In return, Mean Joe tosses the kid his jersey as a gesture of thanks for the Coke.

Information from an expert

As a marketing and advertising expert, I can attest to the incredible impact that the Mean Joe Green commercial had on audiences when it first aired. Featuring a young kid offering a Coca-Cola to the gruff football player after a game, the ad touched hearts and became an instant classic. It’s no surprise that this commercial is still widely recognized today, nearly four decades after its debut. The use of relatable characters and heartwarming themes continues to be effective in advertising campaigns aimed at families and children.

Historical fact:

The iconic “Mean Joe Green” commercial featuring a young boy offering the football player a Coca-Cola first aired during the 1979 Super Bowl and is still remembered as one of the most memorable ads in television history.

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