I had a Coke back in 1979, but I still have the Smile Years Later!
Click here to watch the 1979, Coca-Cola commercial, which featured the defensive lineman "Mean" Joe Greene from the Pittsburgh Steelers (American football) a twelve-year-old boy named, Tommy Okon and his thirst quenching Coke.
In 1979, when this commercial first aired, I was living in
Most American’s love football players, but the Japanese love their Rikishi (or sumo wrestler). Sumo wrestlers are highly regarded members of society. Take a quick moment to think about the American commercial above and the wonderful sports memorabilia given to Tommy Okon, Mean Joe’s
The Japanese commercial went line-for-line with the American version. A young Japanese boy walks up to the Sumo wrestlers, addresses the Sumo in Japanese. The gruff Sumo, tired from his match, stops and replies, then he turns to walk away. The boy quickly offers the Sumo his Coca-Cola. The Sumo drinks the Coke in one flow. The boy sheds a tear, says good-bye and begins to walk away. Just then the Sumo wrestler yells “OI,” and tosses his Sumo mawashi (similar to a highly padded jock strap), which rings the kid’s head. The Japanese boy smiles and thanks the Sumo profusely.
Now imagine where that mawashi has been. Today’s Sumo wrestlers range in weight from 400 to 500 pounds. The Sumo wrestlers attempt to lift each other out of the ring by hoisting on the mawashi. With this point made, I think I prefer the American football jersey over the Japanese Sumo’s mawashi. Please feel free to comment below, even if you differ from my opinion.
I can not stop smiling when I envision this reenactment. If someone knows a link to this Japanese commercial, please send to me so I can link to it.