Kool-Aid Liquid: Oh yeah! Reigniting a brand icon

Kendall Flynn and Nicholas Cavet

Campaign details

Brand owner: Kraft Foods Group
Agency: VSA Partners (primary); Starcom Mediavest (media)
Brand: Kool-Aid Liquid
Country: The United States

Executive summary

The Kool-Aid brand had become a punchline.

Kool-Aid has enjoyed cultural ubiquity thanks to occasional appearances of the Kool-Aid Man over the last 60 years. This had been most recently reinforced by a sporadic role on Fox's Family Guy. Unfortunately, extraordinary levels of passive awareness did not readily translate into demand for the product, as the brand suffered from decreasing relevance among the core target of mums with young kids.

Kool-Aid's biggest strength had become its weakness, with millions of people raising their hand in support of the brand who were very unlikely to purchase Kool-Aid product. The Kool-Aid Facebook community had swelled to two million fans with the largest segment being men aged 18–24. Attempts to connect with our real target of mums via social and digital media were frequently high-jacked by these young men for their own ironic (and yes, sometimes just moronic) reasons. Everything Kool-Aid tried became a punchline for someone else's joke.