What’s The Other 80%?!

So I’m at lunch, drinking my protein shake, and munching on my portion-sized reduced fat Cheez-Its and sugar snap peas (that I’m dipping in hummus).  Sounds like a (reasonably healthy) lunch, wouldn’t you say?  I’m also watching a commercial block from 1986, figuring out what I’d like to contribute next to The Retroist, when a seemingly innocent-looking commercial for Kool Aid Koolers comes on.

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It’s juice, so it sounds healthy too (or at least, reasonably healthy)…right?

There’s this minor little detail they flash across the screen to drive home the point of one of the ingredients.

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20% juice?

We’ve got people washing cars, taking Polaroid selfies (Apparently, in 1986, selfies were a thing), teenagers skateboarding, getting pelted by tennis balls – you can do just about anything!

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The timeless art of selfies…80s style!

And the point that gets driven home twice (yes, twice) in this 30-second ad is that it’s “now with 20% juice!”.

So here’s my thing: if your drink is advertised as being 20% juice, what’s the other 80% made of?  Does this sound balanced and healthy to you?  Sure, you can do all the things this 30-second ad shows if you had that much crap pulsing through your body after drinking Kool Aid Koolers.  I’d probably be able to do twenty backflips before crashing from the resulting inevitable low blood sugar.

Let’s just assume the other 80% is sugar and a bunch of ingredients you absolutely cannot pronounce.

Advertising like this would never fly today, in this world of organic and natural.  Can you imagine Kool Aid Koolers having any type of market presence today?  I can’t.  Parent groups would be up in arms demanding this product consist of more than just 20% juice.  They would shout the demands of making this product more than just 20% juice.  More juice, they would say!

I cannot find any information on Kool Aid Koolers, other than the 1980s sibling group The Jets sang a jingle for Kool Aid Koolers in 1987, and that the product is now discontinued.  When it was discontinued, I can’t find any information.  But for the here and now, enjoy this ad from the simpler time of 1986, when it was ok to advertise a product made of only 20% juice…and 80% unpronounceable junk.

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Make it Kooler, indeed, Kool Aid Koolers!

Visit Allison’s other favorite writing home, The Retroist, and say hi to Vic and the crew of nostalgia writers!

She has never done a backflip.  Or this.

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Hard-to-pronounce food stuff!


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