After a Monthlong Disappearance, Kool-Aid Man Has Been Found

And he's discovered a new flavor available now

Kool-Aid Man in cotton candy
Kool-Aid Man is rather happy to be back. Kool-Aid

In these tough times, Kool-Aid has some good news: After disappearing about a month ago in search of a new mystery flavor, the Kool-Aid Man has resurfaced with the secret ingredient: cotton candy.

It turns out, his quest took him to a place with few visitors these days: Coney Island, New York.

When the campaign first began on March 9, social distancing wasn’t the norm and most of the country had yet to shut down due to the coronavirus. After a few hints at Kool-Aid Man’s early whereabouts on social media—a postcard from Hawaii, a sighting in Santa Monica—official channels went dark on March 12.

The brand paused all proactive media outreach and planned social content around the campaign in “an effort to be sensitive to everything that’s happened since early March,” a spokesperson told Adweek.

Kool-Aid Man’s final destination and the campaign’s conclusion, however, remained unchanged.

More than 50,000 people participated in the contest to help locate the big jug of flavored water, winning prizes along the way. The grand prize—a $10,000 trip to any city in the U.S., including round-trip flights for two people, five nights of accommodation, ground transportation and $1,000 in spending money—is still being awarded, according to the spokesperson. The winner can either take the trip at their convenience or receive a check for $5,000.

The limited-edition cotton candy flavor, packaged in ready-to-serve drink pouches called Kool-Aid Jammers, is available on store shelves across the country now.

The campaign was conceived by VaynerMedia, the same agency behind Mr. Peanut’s fatal accident and rebirth as Baby Nut (thanks to the tears of the Kool-Aid Man), which aired during the Super Bowl in early February. In late January, Planters paused its social media activity around the campaign due to the death of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26 in Calabasas, Calif.

Both Kool-Aid and Planters are owned by Kraft Heinz.

@hiebertpaul Paul Hiebert is a CPG reporter at Adweek, where he focuses on data-driven stories that help illustrate changes in consumer behavior and sentiment.