A new Kool-Aid man in CGI is set to unveil on Monday as a replacement to the old foam version from past ads, according to The Associated Press.
The Kool-Aid Man, a big red mascot known for busting through walls and his "Oh yeah!" tagline since 1954, will now be computer-generated and take on the personality of a celebrity trying to show that he's just an ordinary guy as the popular powdered drink brand looks to renew its image and play up a new liquid mix to compete with MiO.
Instead of CGI, the Kool-Aid man was played by an actor in foam costume and didn't say or do much besides busting through walls with his trademark big, smiley face. Erica Rendall, senior brand manager at Kraft Foods Group Inc., said that the new ads, which were developed by the ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, are intended to fill in the blanks in the CGI Kool-Aid man character so people can relate to him.
"He said a few things here and there [in the past], but he really didn't have a developed personality," she said.
The unveiling of the new CGI Kool-Aid man comes as Kool-Aid tries to tout its newest liquid mix which debuted in January and recently reached national distribution.
Kool-Aid has been hurt a little by the growing popularity of the latest liquid mixes. In 2012, the brand's U.S. sales were down 5 percent to $338 million, according to market researcher Euromonitor International. That was following a 4 percent drop in 2011. So, Kool-Aid's own new mix is a sign that not only is Kraft Foods pushing to adjust to changing tastes by returning to its roots since Kool-Aid began as a syrup called "Fruit Smack" in 1920, but is also trying to compete more profitably among tough competition.
In one of the new commercials for the CGI Kool-Aid man, the scene opens with the mascot's round silhouette seen behind a shower curtain. When he steps out, he's colorless, nothing but a clear pitcher of water, and he explains in a voiceover that his life isn't all "cherry and sweetness."
"I put my pants on one leg at a time," the voiceover notes 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." At the end of the commercial, though, the new Kool-Aid Man heads out to work by calming busting through the front door, a sign of a more toned down trademark from past ads. When he comes out, he waves jovially to two astonished children riding their bikes past his front lawn.
KCRA-TV reported that like MiO and Dasani Drops, the new liquid Kool-Aid mix can be squeezed directly into a glass of water. It comes in cherry, orange and tropical punch flavors.
So, which Kool-Aid man do you prefer: the new CGI version of the old foam version? Watch some video and sound off in the comments below!