Kool-Aid Man is the mascot for Kool Aid, a brand of flavored drink mix. The character has appeared on television and print advertising as a fun-loving gigantic pitcher, filled with red Kool-Aid and marked with a fingerpainted smiley face. He is typically featured answering the call of children by smashing through walls and furnishings, holding a pitcher filled with Kool-Aid.
The precursor to Kool-Aid Man, the Pitcher Man, was created in 1954 by Marvin Plotts, an art director for a New York advertising agency hired by foods to create an image that would accompany the slogan "A 5-cent package makes two quarts." Inspired by watching his young son draw smiley faces on a frosted window, Plotts created the Pitcher Man, a glass pitcher with a wide smile emblazoned on its side and filled with Kool-Aid. It was one of several designs Plotts created but the only one that stuck, and General Foods began to use the Pitcher Man in all of its advertisements.
Beginning in the mid 1970s, Kool-Aid Man was introduced as a walking/talking 6-foot-tall pitcher of cherry Kool-Aid. Children, parched from playing and/or other various activities, would typically exchange a few words referring to their thirst, then put a hand to the side of their mouths and call forth their "friend" by shouting "Hey, Kool-Aid!", whereupon, the Kool-Aid Man would make his grand entrance, breaking through walls, fences, ceilings and/or other furnishings, uttering the infamous words "Oh yeah!" then pour the dehydrated youngsters a thirst-quenching glass of Kool-Aid.
Beginning in 1979, the character's mouth was animated to "move" in synchronization with the voice actor's singing and/or dialogue and, by the early 1980s, the Kool-Aid Man had attained pop culture "icon" status. In 1983, he was the subject of two Kool-Aid Man video games for the Atari 2600 and the Intellivision systems. He was also given his own short-lived comic book series, The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man. This ran for three issues under Comics from 1984-'85 and continued with issues #4-7 under Archie Comics, with art by Dan DeCarlo, from 1988-'89.