THE REAL THING

China ripped off an iconic Coke ad for its Belt and Road theme song

Super catchy.
Super catchy.
Image: Tencent video screenshot
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Five years ago today (Sept. 7), Chinese president Xi Jinping unveiled his vision for a global infrastructure plan, now known as the Belt and Road Initiative, to establish a modern-day Silk Road and foster trade.

And it’s marking the anniversary of this project with an extended version of “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke,” the song from the classic 1971 Coca-Cola advertisement.

The overseas version of the state mouthpiece People’s Daily (link in Chinese) said that its staff had put together a cover of the song and a music video (link in Chinese) titled “I’d Like to Build the World a Road” lasting over four minutes. The video features young people from around the world in national dress in locations throughout China, extolling the virtues of the mammoth infrastructure project.

Image for article titled China ripped off an iconic Coke ad for its Belt and Road theme song
Image: Tencent video screenshot

The lyrics mostly resemble that of the original Coke version, with some Chinese characteristics:

I’d like to build the world a road, and furnish it with love

Grow apple trees and honeybees, and snow white turtle doves

I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony 

I’d like to hold it in my arms, and keep it company 

I’d like to see the world for once, all standing hand in hand 

And hear the echo through the belt, of peace throughout the land 

I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony

I’d like to hold it in my arms, and with my family

I’d like to tell the world a truth, and keep it in my heart 

Community of shared future for mankind’s coming true

It’s the Belt and Road, what the world wants today

That’s the hope we will say, with the belt and road 

It’s the Belt and Road, won’t you hear what we say

What the world needs today, it’s the real thing

The Coke jingle—which was so popular it also appeared on pop charts (paywall) in the ’70s—filled the screens and ears of TV watchers all around the world once more when it was used in the final scene of the Mad Men finale in 2015, as protagonist Don Draper meditated. Now, the song could be reaching homes in Belt and Road member countries everywhere.

via GIPHY