Here's an old 60's commercial I found interesting. This drink mix is of course no longer around, but the commercial wasn't on TV too long and was banned due to the huge disapproval of the flavors Injun Orange and Chinese Cherry. Orange and cherry then got a new kind of wacky name
What was the deal with Funny Face drink mix? The year was 1964 and my older sister explained to me that Kool-Aid was nothing but powdered flavoring and food coloring mixed together. To make it taste good you have to add sugar to it. I think the directions called for one cup of sugar to two quarts of water. But we always added more sugar. Kids!
That's why my mom always complained about the price of sugar. Our family could empty a pitcher of Kool-Aid with a single meal. Packets of Kool-Aid only cost 5 cents and folks bought them buy the handful at the stores. Sugar was a different matter, 5 lb bag or a 10 lb bag, my mom always complained about the price.
So Pillsbury, which had recently entered the artificial sweetener market for adults around 1961 or 1962 did the logical thing and PRESTO! Artificially flavored, artificially pre-sweetened powdered drink mixes called Funny Face.
Crazy? Not to my mom. Every parent I knew in my neighborhood went "Funny Face" overboard. It was like some kind of miracle to adults. Guess in 1964 saving a few pennies was a big deal, and lordy did Pillsbury know it!
Radio, magazines, newspapers and TELEVISION! It was a Funny Face attack. The stuff was everywhere and so were the promos for it. Funny Face was made up of six flavors. There was Goofy Grape, Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry, Freckle Face Strawberry, Loud Mouth Lime, Chinese Cherry, and Injun Orange.
Look on the back of each packet of Funny Face and there was a special promo for the kids. My favorite was the mail-in coupons for a coloring book, but there were tons of other toys you could get with the proper number of empty package labels. And my mom collected so many Funny Face coupons she could pick up a few packs for free at the store.
Can you say successful product launch? Thanks to consumer response Pillsbury was ready to go nationwide with Funny Face in 1965 and wanted to add a new flavor in the process. Sure you can get the folks in product development to whip up something, but Pillsbury saw a marketing dream.
Pillsbury posted a contest to have kids in the initial launch market regions make up a new flavor. I joined in and I'll never forget it.
For one week the local newspaper printed the Official Funny Face New Flavor Entry Form. It was a 4 x 8 newspaper ad with complete instructions that you cut out and with your crayons and a bit of artistic flair use the space provided to make a new flavor label with a new cartoon character, flavor inclusive name of the character and your ID info in case you won.
Being the artist of the family my older sister "volunteered" to help me with my entry. Yes I still remember what we came up with. Are you ready? Drumroll, "Crazy Cranberry" with googly eyes and "Punchy Pineapple" complete with a black-eye.
Of course I didn't win! Like what were the odds? At least my sister was kind enough to wait a few weeks to tell me my flavors were lame. So what flavor won? Call my lawyer cuz somebody's done me wrong - "Lefty Lemon!"
Oh pleease! My dad said the contest was an advertising stunt because Pillsbury already had a new flavor developed and ready to go long before any kid sent in a contest entry. So chalk it up to one of life's great lessons.
What's the difference between Lefty Lemon and Loud Mouth Lime? After an extensive side-by-side family taste test, no difference at all. But oh the color! One was yellow the other greenish-yellow.
Nobody outguns Kool-Aid! The 800 lb gorilla of the powered drink mix biz never backs down from a challenge. Funny Face must be humbled. If Funny Face has cartoon characters, then Kool-Aid has - a glass pitcher with a face drawn in the condensed moisture on the side?
Somebody call Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny front and center! Keep the Kool-Aid pitcher man for the regular stuff. Pre-sweetened Kool-Aid will have Bugs Bunny clearly visible on the package and on the display box.
Take that Funny Face, call your pre-sweetened mix and raise you on cartoon name status!