We never thought Jack White would continue the usually cringe-inducing tradition of rock stars making TV commercials — remember the what-was-he-thinking Victoria’s Secret spot from Bob Dylan? — but in this Coke ad he transforms what could be a depressing sell-out moment into something fresh and entrancing.
Only shown overseas, the ad is now a YouTube treasure. It features a stomping, poppy White jingle that’s as instantly likable as the Turtles’ “Happy Together.” As the song rockets along, a young woman walks through a rainbow world where everyone leaves behind an image of himself or herself — it’s like a film shot by Eadweard Muybridge and edited by Michel Gondry. (In fact, it was directed by Nagi Noda.)
We like the White Stripes because they play with reckless abandon and the evident conviction that they’re creating American pop standards. With this ad, Jack White is trading a little of his edge for a little of Coke’s iconic Americanism. Which is OK by us.
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