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Posts Tagged ‘MiO’

Kool-Aid Man Rebrand Causes Generations to Question Reality

If you think CGI technology ruined Star Wars and that Jar Jar Binks is an abomination, then we have some bad news to report about the Kool-Aid man. And if you are the actual Kool-Aid man, then the news is even worse (sorry, brother, but you’re losing your job).

That’s right. The Kool-Aid man that generations of Americans came to know and love from commercials where he burst through walls and into our living rooms proclaiming “Oh Yeah!” is being replaced by a digital spokesperson, or spokespitcher. Since his inception in 1954 the Kool-Aid man has undergone makeovers to make him more appealing to more recent generations of kids, but for many of us this update is particularly disturbing.

The Kool-Aid man had become part of our childhood, like Twinkies and Captain Kangaroo. It was comforting to know that there was a person sitting on an airplane somewhere, or perhaps at the end of a dark bar, who when asked what he did for a living, answered, “I’m the Kool-Aid man.” With the computer animated Kool-Aid man, those days are over.

However, moms and dads will be happy that along with the rebrand—which features the updated slogan “Smile. It’s Kool-Aid”—Kraft is introducing a new sugar free drink mix in pocket-sized bottles. The brand is hoping to leverage the portability angle which has worked for its MiO product lines. And, yes, a Kool-Aid mobile app will debut at the beginning of the summer.

As PR professionals we recognize this is simply a business decision, but we can’t help being a little wistful about this development. Our industry is about people, and we don’t like to see real people—which the Kool-Aid man certainly was (you could tell by his walk)—being replaced by a bunch of code. If the Kool-Aid man can be replaced by a computer animated personality, then what exactly is the reality of our childhoods?

Did the Kool-Aid man ever exist at all?

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Will MiO Change the Way We See Water?

For some reason we just can’t leave water alone. Most restaurants offer a choice of tap water or sparkling water–and then there’s the endless debate about environmentally-unfriendly bottled water.

Here to change the game entirely is MiO, the “liquid water enhancer” currently blowing up the Millennial demographic. Adding flavors to water is nothing new, of course, but the packaging and marketing of Mio has significantly affected the way consumers of every age view water consumption.

Sure, you’ve got lemonade mix and chocolate powder and flavored waters of every variety and combination, but Mio—olds in small, transportable packages—won’t be confined to your kitchen counter or glass pitchers mixed with wooden spoons. The product is a concentrated liquid ready to be squirted into your water source, making it ideal for teens looking to establish a cool factor at cafeteria tables and school sidewalks. The market campaign features animated animals called “Millen-imals” that are just as self-absorbed and obnoxious as real teenagers can be (come on, you know you were too).

Adults are next. In the wake of Mio’s success, mega-brands like Coca-Cola decided to delve into the liquid water enhancer market, and they’re currently exploring every potential niche in this nascent category. Mio, owned by Kraft, discovered marketing nirvana by creating an untapped behavior pattern that can appeal to anyone from kindergarteners looking to spruce up their lunches to time-strapped adults seeking a convenient way to add flavor to their glass of water (without adding any additional calories). Read more

Kraft Is On A PR Binge

Have you noticed a lot of Kraft-related stuff lately?

Over the past couple of weeks, Kraft Mac & Cheese has been executing the “Mac & Jinx” program. Two people who tweet the phrase “mac & cheese” get a link to “Mac & Jinx” with the first one to clickthrough getting a free t-shirt.

Yesterday, Stride gum announced that Shaun White, the snowboarding Olympic winner and number two most powerful athlete according to Bloomberg Businessweek, had signed on to be its spokesperson.

And last week, Athenos, the hummus brand released a number of new advertising spots that caused controversy, particularly one where a Greek grandmother said that a young woman was dressed “like a prostitute.”

Read more