Remembrance Of Things Past: “Hey Kid, Catch”- Mean Joe Greene’s Coca-Cola Commercial Debuts October 1, 1979.
One of the iconic commercials ever was the Mean Joe Greene “Hey Kid, Catch” commercial from the fall of 1979. Mean Joe Greene the greatest Pittsburgh Steelers player of all-time- and that is saying something considering the Hall of Fame players they have had- had a reputation as one bad dude on the football field. Sometimes he even stretched the rules a bit -on the rough side. He didn’t get the name Mean Joe for nothing. But off the field he was just like anyone else. In the mid-70’s I met him and got his autograph- a big thrill for a young Steelers fanatic.
There was a bank opening in the town near where I lived and my friend Wilhelm’s father took me and Wilhelm to the opening-where Mean Joe Greene and Steelers back up quarterback Terry Hanratty were going to be there signing autographs. The thing that impressed me was how big of a man Joe Greene was- and how friendly he seemed. I got an autograph and he shook my hand and we exchanged some brief small talk and we were on my way- but 45 years later it is still a vivid and great memory.
The commercial was part of Coca-Cola’s “Have a Coke and a smile” campaign. The commercial first aired on Monday Night Football on October 1, 1979. The commercial got the most attention when it aired in Super Bowl XIV- in which Joe and the Steelers won their 4th Super Bowl in 6 seasons. The commercial ended up winning a Clio as one of the best commercials of the year.