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Kool-Aid icon gets a brand refresh for summertime sales

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — Kool-Aid’s latest brand campaign, called "Smile. It's Kool-Aid," introduces a new look and feel for the brand as well as for its spokespitcher, Kool-Aid Man, in time for its launch of Kool-Aid Liquid Drink Mix.

Owned by Kraft Foods Group, North America's fourth largest consumer packaged food and beverage company, Kool-Aid partnered with Saatchi & Saatchi New York and VSA Partners of Chicago to revamp its image. 

The latest campaign showcases the new CGI-generated Kool-Aid Man in television print, online and mobile creative. The print and television campaigns, geared toward moms, shows a very different Kool-Aid Man from the rotund character known for bursting through brick walls while yelling, “Oh, yeah!” since his first appearance in 1954.  

Today’s spokespitcher looks slimmer and is depicted trying to decide which of his 22 flavor outfits to wear, working out at the gym, buying flowers and interacting with neighbors. He still, however, breaks through walls. He also has his own personal Facebook page, where he will interact directly with fans.

"This is one of those fun projects we love to work on: Bring Kool-Aid Man back, better than ever," said Saatchi & Saatchi NY chief creative officer Con Williamson. "When we set out to do that, when we really dug in, we discovered that there's a lot to love in the evolution of this iconic character. We wanted people to get to know him a bit more. Kool-Aid and Kool-Aid Man are undeniably fun and positively bold. We wanted that happiness to shine through in his personality and attitude."

In June, Kool-Aid will launch a new Android- and iOS-enabled Kool-Aid Man PhotoBomb mobile app, which will enable fans to superimpose different images of Kool-Aid Man into their personal photos. PhotoBomb users will be able to move, scale and manipulate images to allow Kool-Aid Man to integrate seamlessly into any photo opportunity. All photos will be shareable across all popular social media platforms.

Meanwhile, the newly revamped Kool-Aid website will offer fans a chance to navigate Kool-Aid Man's home, clicking through interactive portals that will link to various brand assets. The website, app and Facebook page are being developed by VSA Partners of Chicago. 

The campaign has launched simultaneously with the brand’s latest beverage, Kool-Aid Liquid, a sugar-free liquid drink mix that you squeeze into water. It comes in 1.62 fl. oz.-size bottles, shaped like Kool-Aid Man. The drink is available in Tropical Punch, Cherry, Grape and Orange flavors.

"When we conceptualized the campaign, we knew that fun and flavor needed to be at the core of everything we did," said Erica Rendall, senior brand manager at Kraft Foods. "People know and love Kool-Aid, and the new liquid drink mix is a fun, flavorful evolution of the brand our customers love. Just as the liquid has evolved, Kool-Aid Man has a new look and attitude, and he's sure to deliver smiles to the whole family."