What is the history of the KOOL-Aid Man?


Quick Answer

Kool-Aid man first appeared in advertisements in 1975, but this version of the popular icon is based on the smiling image of Pitcher man, created by advertising art director Marvin Potts in 1954. Potts created the smiling face of a man on a pitcher after watching his young son draw a smiley face on a frosted window. Under General Mills ownership, the happy pitcher image became synonymous with the Kool-Aid brand.

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Full Answer

Kraft Foods acquired ownership of Kool-Aid in the 1970s, and in 1975 a walking talking Kool-Aid man appeared in commercials for its cherry flavored drink mix. Advertising composer Richard Berg voiced the character and an unknown actor donned a character costume. Viewers see an enthusiastic Kool-Aid man bursting through a wall after he's summoned by kids. In addition to brick walls, he breaks through ceilings, fences and various furnishings. Kool-Aid man usually utters his famous "Oh yeah" phrase when making a grand entrance.

Kool-Aid man reached pop culture status in the 1980s and appeared as a main character in "The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man," a short Marvel comic book series, which continued under Archie Comics. Two video games of the era featured the lovable character. Live-action Kool-Aid man retired from the marketing scene in 1994, replaced by a computer-generated version. Live-action Kool-Aid man returned in 2008 and does sporty activities such as skateboarding and playing basketball.

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