Life was popularized during the 1970s by an advertising campaign featuring "Mikey," a finicky four-year-old who "hates everything." The commercials featured the catch phrase "He likes it! Hey Mikey!" The ad campaign ran from 1972 to 1984, becoming one of the longest running and popular commercials of all time. The "Mikey" character became so ingrained in the consciousness of American popular culture that urban legends began to develop surrounding the actors in the commercial. The most popular urban legend was that the actor who portrayed "Mikey" had died from eating Pop Rocks while drinking Coca-Cola. According to the urban legend, "Mikey" had a liver condition, and the mixing of Pop Rocks and Coca-Cola caused his liver to fail. In reality, John Gilchrist, who played "Mikey," is still alive and works as an advertising account manager in New York. The other kids in the "Mikey" commercial were Gilchrist's brothers in real life, and are also still alive.
In 1978, Cinnamon Life was introduced, followed shortly thereafter by "Raisin Life". Today Cinnamon Life comprises one third of total Life sales. "Raisin Life" wasn't as popular however and was soon discontinued sometime in the early 1980s. Twenty five years after the release of Cinnamon Life, Honey Graham Life was released in early 2004. In late 2005 Life added a new flavor, Life Vanilla Yogurt Crunch and in 2006 another new flavor, Life Chocolate Oat Crunch. These 2 Flavors lasted around 2 years before being discontinued during the Summer of 2008. In 2008 Life introduced yet another new version, "Maple & Brown Sugar Life". In Canada and certain areas of the United States, there is also Multigrain Life.In the early 2000s, there was also a short-lived version called Baked Apple Life.
The cereal's advertisements currently sport the slogan "Life is full of surprises".