Remember When Ecto Cooler flowed like water?
Hey all. It is time for another volume of Remember When? As you all know, this will recap a time period during which we all enjoyed and indulged in one of the most memorable beverages of all time. You couldnt escape it. It was everywhere you went. Whether you were at the grocery store, or at a friends house, or more than likely at your own house, you couldnt avoid that green sip of heaven. And today, I asked you, Remember When Ecto Cooler flowed like water?
Yeah baby, there it is. I absolutely LOVED this stuff. Honestly, I think all of us did. This drink was perfect during any time of the day, any time of the year. We would drink this stuff by the gallon while we watched our cartoons on Saturday mornings. It was a staple in our lunchboxes, and made for a perfect cooler filler during beach and little league season. Now for those of you who dont know where this came from, here is a brief history of the Ecto-
In 1984, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Dan Akroyd starred in a film that changed pop culture- Ghostbusters. This was a film that everyone could enjoy. It was mature enough to keep the adults locked, and adventurous enough to lock up the kids for 90 minutes. Well, they knew that the money maker would be to lock kids in for 30 minutes at a time. The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series was born. In 1987, the people at Hi-C developed a drink that would promote not only themselves, but the television show as well. It was a genius idea because this show was a mainstay for many of us who watched cartoons. Not to mention all of the awesome Kenner toys, so this was to be a hit!
Honestly, I dont think they had any idea how popular this drink would become. This stuff exploded as a favorite amongst us kids in the 80s and 90s. You couldnt go anywhere without seeing it. There were TV commercials out the ying yang, and like I said before, you couldt sit at a lunch table in any school without seeing boxes of these things all over the place. But why was Ecto Cooler so popular?
In my opinion, there are a few reasons why this drink was embraced. Lets start with the easy one, everyone, like I said before, loved the Ghostbusters. Plain and simple, if it had that name attached to it, we were buying it. Another reason why this was so appealing was because Slimer was on the box. Any time you take a classic character, or a character that society loves, and you toss them on anything, its probably safe to say that it will be a hit. Nowadays, that character is SpongeBob. Kids like this guy. It doesnt matter what he is selling. The fact of the matter is that if he is on the label, kids want it, simply because its SpongeBob. Thats how kids were with Slimer in our day, along with the Turtles and even Hulk Hogan. Please see below.
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. We will buy anything that represents a lovable character. This drink was green as well, and that played a big part in it. At this point in time, green substances were big, thanks in part to Nickelodeon. We can all remember seeing that green slime on most Nick programs, and we all wished we could be slimed. That became a staple of Nickelodeon, and they soon began to on it with products such as Gak. The people at Hi-C certainly did a great job picking this color, because lets be real here, there was a deeper meaning to it than just, Oh well Slimers green so this is green. This was a well thought out strategy. Kids also love to ingest things that have exotic colors (remember Pop Qwiz?).
And lets not forget how GOOD this drink was. Im sure most of us remember eating or drinking things that were nasty as well, but because our favorite character was on it, we ate it or drank it. But this stuff was absolutely amazing. The delicious taste of tangerines still has a spot on my palate and in my mind. In fact, this drink was so popular, that it lasted long past its expected shelf life. Originally, this drink was meant to go out when the television series did. And while the series was cancelled in 1991 after a very successful run, Ecto Cooler stuck around for another DECADE. Slimer was taken off the box in 1997, but Hi-C continued to keep the Ecto Cooler banner until 2001.
A lot of people wondered what ever happened to Ecto Cooler. The truth of the matter is that Ecto Cooler was not completely dead in 2001. Yes, Hi-C stopped making the Ecto Cooler name in 2001, but they did not discontinue the recipe, not initially at least. The drink was renamed Shoutin Orange Tangerine. Slimer was replaced with a set of green, slimey looking lips. And the drink was still green. According to many websites, when you purchased Shoutin Orange Tangerine, it still said Ecto Cooler on many of the receipts. In 2006, the brand was again renamed. This time, it was called Crazy Citrus Cooler. The green lips were removed, and the box no longer looked anything like Ecto Cooler. Crazy Citrus Cooler was discontinued 3 years ago.
It makes me want to cry when I think that I could have been drinking Ecto Cooler, or at least something that tasted like it, until 3 years ago, because I honestly stopped drinking it when it lost its original name. I never knew that it stuck around for that long. I went to Stop and Shop yesterday to see if there was something Ecto-like, but to no avail. But just think about this for a second- The TV show lasted for 5 years, yet the drink lasted nearly 20. No one could have expected this type of response, but hey, thats a real compliment to the people at Hi-C for the meorable flavor, and to the Ghostbusters people for creating such a lovable and timeless character. So I ask again, Remember When Ecto Cooler flowed like water? Remember when you would want to cry when you didnt get one in your lunchbox? Remember the feeling of the sun at a little league game, or the innocence of watching cartoons and playing with toys? This drink was with us through all of it. Thats why it is so special.
Until next time, later Retro Junkies!
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