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Mean Joe Greene - 2009 Style

Coca-Cola is recreating the famous Mean Joe Greene spot that ran during the Super Bowl 29 years ago.

This time the company is using Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.

Although the beginning of the spot mimics the same one acted out by Greene and a young boy actor named Tommy Akon, this Coke Zero spot will take an undisclosed twist.

I'm just saying it better be good because the last time, this whole thing didn't work. While the Mean Joe Greene spot always gets called up as one of the best Super Bowl ads of all time, many people have never heard about the part where Coke's top marketing honcho said that the spot didn't really work.

Here's an excerpt about the spot from the book "The End Of Marketing As We Know It," by Sergio Zyman, Coke's former chief marketing officer.

"America loves it! People talk about it for weeks. The critics rave about it. The bottlers are elated. This ad is so hot that Coca-Cola marketers all over the world want to translate it. The Thais actually do a rendition wiht a famous Thai sports figure. The company should run it forever, right?

Wrong. Coke doesn't run the ad forever.

In fact, Coke pulls the ad altogether and launches a new campaign called 'Coke Is It!'

Wait a minute. Why would Coke do that? Why would it take a popular award-winning commercial that cost millions to product and pull it off the air? The answer is simple. I know, I did it.

My job as a marketer for The Coca-Cola Company was to get people out of their houses and into restaurants and stores to buy more Coca-Cola products — and the ad just wasn't doing that."

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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