In a television ad campaign breaking April 15, one brand’s ad character is being made over to “show he’s just a normal guy.” And in a new phase of another product’s campaign, the brand’s icon is being remade to have more supernormal powers.
Kool-Aid Man: becoming more normal
The Kool-Aid Man has been around since 1954 and in his present form since 2000.
He was played by an anonymous actor in a pitcher-shaped, foam-rubber suit with a big smiley face, and his main talent seemed to be blundering into and crashing through walls.
“He said a few things here and there, but he really didn’t have a developed personality,” Kraft Foods senior brand manage Erica Rendall explained.
Now all that’s changing.
In the new campaign, he’s computer-generated and, according to an Associated Press report, will “take on the personality of a celebrity trying to show he’s just a normal guy.” This, in Rendall’s reasoning, will “fill in the blanks in [his] character so people can relate to him.”
One of the new commercials
opens with the character’s silhouette behind a shower curtain. When he steps out, he’s 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.”
The brand’s sales were down 5 percent last year and 4 percent the year before, so it may take more than “relating” to a computer-generated character’s “developed personality” to change that.
The Most Interesting Man in the World: becoming more supernormal
While one beverage brand’s mascot strives to become more human, another’s commercials show its main character becoming more superhuman, with the power to change the calendar.
- Chuck Norris counted to infinity – twice.
- Chuck Norris’s tears cure cancer. Too bad he’s never cried.
- When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
- The Great Wall of China was originally built to keep Chuck Norris out. It failed miserably.
The Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World is a Chuck Norris, on camera, with a Mexican accent (played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith). According to the even dozen commercials he’s appeared in since 2007,
- He’s bench-pressed two young Asian women, along with the chairs they were seated in.
- If he were to punch you in the face, you’d have to fight off the strong urge to thank him.
- He can speak French, in Russian.
- He successfully dodged six bulls while running toward them at Pamplona.
- The police often question him just because they find him so interesting.
- And so on.
But now, in advertising running through the beginning of May, he’s going even further and changing the very calendar.
In a promotion featuring a Los Angeles celebration and a contest to win free tickets to it, he’s moving the Cinco de Mayo – the Mexican national celebration of victory over occupying French forces – from the Sunday it falls on this year to the preceding Thursday, May 2 (the Dos de Mayo), to go with the two Xes in the brand name.
Funny – he has the power to change the calendar but not to fit three more Xes onto the label.
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