America knows and loves Kool-Aid. The sweet, sugary drink has been a part of every kid’s life at some point. Its pitchman is a tubby, oversized glass pitcher. Soon you’ll see him as you never have before. Kool-Aid is giving Kool-Aid Man a Hollywood Visual Effects makeover. Lots of classic animated characters like Kool-Aid Man have been getting CGI updates to their image—like Fred Flintstone and Mickey Mouse. The new Kool-Aid Man is expected to be more lifelike, as well as more tech-savvy and kid friendly.
According to Kraft Foods Group, which now owns the brand, America’s iconic red glass pitcher will become more active and socially responsible—in an effort to make the brand more appealing to the nation’s moms, the product’s biggest supporters.
Kool-Aid Man has become fully plugged-in; he surfs the Web, and even has his own Kool-Aid Man website. Kraft is making Kool-Aid cool again. In one upcoming TV commercial, Kool-Aid Man will be pumping iron at the gym and buying flowers. In another ad, he “interacts with neighbors” instead of breaking through their walls. An improved and expanded vocabulary will keep our beverage buddy from resorting to his trademark “Oh yeah!” when chatting with neighbors.
Today Kool-Aid Man’s Facebook page has more than 60,000 likes and the Kool-Aid drink is a childhood staple. But it’s the 1970s and 1980s commercials Kool-Aid produced that made the product and its mascot legendary. The commercials highlight the hulking red glass pitcher smashing through walls (and causing significant property damage). This bad reputation got Kool-Aid Man ranked sixth on Time magazines Top 10 Creepiest Product Mascots. Digitally rendered or not, there’s no doubt that Kool-Aid Man is a pop culture icon with an impressive resume:
Learning How to Master CGI
Whether it involves reviving an enduring advertising mascot like Kool-Aid Man or making special effects movie magic, jobs involving how to create visual effects make up a large portion of the entertainment industry. This summer, go behind the scenes and discover how they make Hollywood visual effects at a Digital Media Special Effects Academy.
It’s a big job to make the new Kool-Aid man commercials. It takes a cast and crew of professionals. Once the live action is shot using motion tracking, editors work to composite video and perform color correction. Some of the commercial may be shot using green-screen techniques and then 3D effects are created and added. In the end, we get a rebooted childhood hero that will bring us a pitcher of refreshing Kool-Aid, no matter what obstacle is in his path.