…and the one!
Earlier this week, I wrote about a pop culture icon, created from a doodle on a napkin in 1985. This doodle would go on to merchandising glory, as well as Saturday morning cartoons-within-the cartoons (the bumpers, of course), and soda pitchman for two brands at the same time.
You know him, you probably loved him, and maybe you owned a shirt with him on it.
And if you’d like to learn more about this guy with the rhyming name, the King of Chill, check out my article from Monday that details his humble start, and his evolution in the 1990s.
As I promised at that time, I wanted to focus on the soda spokesdoodle part of his “career” today, where commercials have a home on Allison’s Written Words. And the more I thought about it, I figured focusing on the ones I remember, for a soda I haven’t drank in at least 20 years, was appropo.
The year is 1990, and I’ve got a two-part harmony of commercials for you, uploaded awesomely by RetroWinnipeg’s RW-TV. This YouTube user has some cool and delightfully Canadian offerings, but I remember seeing these Slice commercials stateside.
In the first commercial, we’ve got someone trying to change the King of Chill’s image…
…and in the second commercial, he’s trying to change Those Other Sodas in order to make them more appealing.
Which may make him more appealing, the ultimate ulterior motive, don’t you think?
Anyway, click play, and enjoy the commercials!
Slice is a line of fruit-flavored soft drinks, manufactured by PepsiCo. It was introduced in 1984, replacing the similarly-flavored Teem brand, which had been introduced in 1960 as PepsiCo’s answer to 7Up (and this one) and Coca-Cola’s Sprite (oh, and there’s this one you’ll never forget). It was manufactured in the United States until the late 2000s, when PepsiCo discontinued the drink. And because pretty much everything (Fido Dido included) comes back again, Slice was reintroduced in the United States and Canada by New Slice Ventures LLC. Prior to that, Slice was reintroduced in India in 2008 as mango-flavored fruit drink, advertised as Tropicana Slice.
Look at this nostalgia. I remember drinking that Mandarin Orange flavor like it is the 1990s all over again!
The original flavor of Slice was Lemon Lime, and was distinguishable from its competition for having 10% fruit juice. A diet version was introduced in 1985, and by 1986 Mandarin Orange, Apple, and Cherry Cola flavors were introduced, along with their diet counterparts. The slogan at the time was “We Got the Juice.” The line of drinks were popular upon their launch, and were the cause for other companies introducing their own fruit-infused sodas. The juice content in the soda dropped over time, and by 1988, Apple and Cherry Cola were discontinued entirely. Packaging was later redesigned in 1990, the juice content was dropped completely, and Strawberry, Pineapple, Fruit Punch, and Grape were introduced, keeping Slice in direct competition with Crush.
Also introduced in 1990? Fido Dido as Slice’s spokesperson, er, spokesdoodle.
At the time, Fido Dido was 7Up’s international spokesperson, a job he would hold during the early 1990s, in addition to his duties promoting Slice. The Lemon Lime version of Slice had the slogan of “Clearly the One” at this time, while over at 7Up, it was all about…
I remember these Slice commercials well. Of course, I knew Fido Dido from Saturday mornings watching CBS. The 7Up advertisements were international spots, so obviously, I don’t remember those. I’ve had a some of the Slice flavors – Lemon Lime, Orange, and Grape – and looking at that picture above, I can definitely taste it. As far as having seen it since its reintroduction, that’s a big no. Not that I seek it out, but I work right near a grocery store, and haven’t seen it there, nor anywhere else.
As for Fido Dido, he can still be seen…on this building in Ecuador. Drinking the competition!
Can Slice claim that kind of prime real estate for advertising?
Have a great Throwback Thursday!