Jack & Coke

When The White Stripes exploded on the scene there must have been whole departments full of Coke marketing executives falling over themselves trying to sign them for an ad. Decked out in red and white and the kids singing their praises, it must have seemed like a perfect fit.

But Jack and Meg weren’t to be had – selling their songs for corporate use wasn’t their thing. In 2001 Gap approached them for a commercial, but they were having none of it.

"The Gap wanted us to be in a commercial and we said 'no' and everyone said, 'why not'? It's almost as if, if people are willing to give you that much money, you are insulting everyone you know by turning it down," said White at the time to the New Music Express. "People's opinions about selling out seem to have changed over the years."

And change again it seems, as there is now a White Stripes-penned Coke ad hitting the airwaves. Of course Jack didn’t sell the sugar water conglomerate one of his songs, he wrote them a new one.

"I've been offered the opportunity to write a song in a way which interests me as a songwriter. I certainly wouldn't want a song that I'd already written to be used on a commercial. That seems strange,” said White.

"But to be asked to write something particular along one theme of love in a worldwide form that I'm not really used to appealed to me. I've written a song and I wrote it really quickly and it's an interesting commercial that's been made. I was inspired by the commercial."

He was also likely inspired by the staggering amount of money they must have been offered. Now I’m not so naïve that I don’t understand people have been “selling out” for years and it doesn’t really bother me. I just never expected it from Jack White, who went from turning down the Gap to directly shilling the product: "I think it's the greatest drink ever made by man - I used to have six a day," said the caffeine-adled frontman.

I’m not the only one who never expected to see them singing in perfect harmony with an advertiser.

“He's meant to be the posterboy for the alternative way of thinking,” Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher told the NME. “Coca-Cola man. Fucking hell. And OK, you want to spread your message of peace and love, but do us all a fucking favour. I'm just not having it. It's like doing a fucking gig for McDonald's."

But enough of me, watch the above ad (which admittedly looks cool) and judge for yourself.


  1. You know, The White Stripes do nothing for me. If I want to listen to sixties style music, I'll listen to actual sixties music, not derivative sixties music rip-offs. Jack White thinks he's some musical bigshot, but the simple fact is he only gets away with his schtick because his fan base is too young to realise what he's doing.

  2. Come on Paul, tell me what you really think. ;)
    But you're right, what goes around, comes around in pop culture.