The Kool-Aid man is getting a new look and new personality come Monday.
The Kool-Aid man will now look computer generated, while wearing flavors like clothing, he talks and even has a sense of humor.
The new Kool-Aid man comes as Kool-Aid tries to adjust their marketing strategy to keep up with the new liquid mixes that are becoming a growing trend. You squeeze the mix, which comes in tropical punch, orange and cherry flavors, directly into a glass of water to give it that flavor.
Kool-Aid introduced their liquid mix in January. The new mix reflects a push by Kraft Foods to adjust to changing tastes and replicate the success of its liquid flavor enhancer called MiO.
MiO already has copycats which include Coca-Cola’s Dasani Drops. Executives say people like them because the small bottles are easier to carry around rather than powder mixes and you can add as much or as little flavor as you like.
With that all said, the popularity of these liquid mixes hasn’t been good for Kool-Aid. In 2012, the brand’s U.S. sales were down 5% to $338 million, according to the market researcher Euromonitor International. That was following a 4% drop from the previous year, according to USA Today.
Kool-Aid isn’t new to this liquid mix though. They actually began as a syrup called “Fruit Smack” in 1920. The syrup wasn’t turned into a concentrated powder until 1927, when it was renamed “Kool-Ade.” The current spelling didn’t come until early 1930s.
As for the Kool-Aid Man, he made his first appearance in 1954 and has taken on various make-overs through-out the years. Kraft says the latest one was in 2000.
Erica Rendall, senior brand manager at Kraft Foods Group, says the new ads with the new Kool-Aid man and liquid mixes are to help people get to know his personality.
“He said a few things here and there (in the past), but he really didn’t have a developed personality,” she said.
In a recent commercial, it opens with the Kool-Aid man silhouette behind a shower curtain. When he steps out, he’s a clear pitcher of water and he explains that his life isn’t all “cherry and sweetness.”
“I put my pants on one leg at a time,” he says, as he stands in front of a pantry full of Kool-Aid mixes deciding what to wear. “Except my pants are 22 different flavors. I’ve got grape pants, I’ve got watermelon pants.”
So while some may know the Kool-Aid man as, “Oh Yeah” and crashing into bricks, that is long gone and the days are now computer-generated.
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