In 1982, Diet Coke was released upon the world and in the New York Market they decided to give their ad campaign some local flavor. There is a lot of fun early New York in this short spot, but the star of the commercial is the actor, who in the early 1980s best represented the hopes and dreams of calorie free cola drinkers in the Big Apple, Judd Hirsch. His character on Taxi, Alex Rieger, was the everyman we all looked up to back then, which made Hirsch something of a taste-maker and his ringing endorsement of Diet Coke would continue to drive sales for decades that followed.
I hear tell that this ad’s effect on Coke’s bottom line was very similar to the then ubiquitous 1970’s Thom McAn commercials starring Gabe Kaplin, where he endorsed their new line of extra wide shoes.
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