Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry Returns for 2011!

At the end of each Halloween season I always look back and do a reflective piece on the holiday. Some years everything seems to flow together perfectly while other years I look back and sort of feel meh about the whole thing.

There are a lot of different factors that go into what makes a great Halloween verses one that is not so memorable. Everything from the weather outside, to how fast Christmas was shoved in our faces, to how cool the new products where that season. Some years feel thrown together and full of missed opportunities. Thankfully though, 2011 has been a defiant upswing from the previous couple seasons.

For whatever reason every single company has decided to show there game faces this Halloween. We've seen old favorites like Count Chocula and Halloween Oreo's. We've seen Pitch Black terrorize store shelves. We've fallen in love with cheap Window Stickers and now Kool-Aid has resurrected the long defunct Ghoul-Aid brand and with it brought back the popular Scary Blackberry flavor!

I know it is still early in the month of October, but I am already willing to bet that this is going to be the best Halloween season ever!

Click for Larger Image!
I first caught wind that Ghoul-Aid was going to be returning this season via the official Kool-Aid Facebook Page. Here they had a countdown of sorts with five or six canceled flavors, saying that one would return for a limited run in 2011.

Each day they would place a gigantic X over the flavor that would not be making a comeback. Right from the beginning I just knew that Scary Blackberry was going to be the winner of the "contest".

I believe I mentioned this in the Kool-Aid Fun Fizz article but I firmly believe that Kool-Aid sales suffer greatly in the fall and winter months. I love Koo-Aid as much as the next but it has a very distinctive summer flavor. So with this in mind it just sort of made since to me that Scary Blackberry would be coming back in 2011. Looks like I was correct!

Taking a look at the new updated package for 2011. It just feels like I am holding onto Halloween in the palm of my hand. Scary Blackberry Ghoul-Aid is just perfect for the month of October and exactly what Kool-Aid needs to keep us interested in their product year round.

Dissecting the package a little further, you will find that Ghoul-Aid is really a fine piece of art worthy of any museum. While it is not quite the same design as the original 1990's Ghoul-Aid it manages to take all the finer points of the original and incorporate them into this new package. I think a side by side comparison is in order:

Click for Larger Image!
To our left is the redesigned version of Scary Blackberry for 2011 and over on the right you can see a slightly blurry photo of the original stuff. Sorry about that, I had to use a stock photo swiped from google as I do not own any of the original Ghoul-Aid... yet.

You can see that all the elements of the original have found there way onto the new package. The Ghoul-Aid text is largely the same on both packets and both feature the moon and a bat (or bats in the case of the new one). While the original featured a black package with stars off in the distance, the new goes for a simple purple background. Both feature the Kool-Aid man dressed up as a vampire, though the original has him in more of a classic Dracula pose while the new one has him simply offering you something to drink.

It is tough to decide which package I like better. Both are great in there own respective ways but I think I have to give the nod to the original Scary Blackberry artwork. In part because I am slightly biased towards the "simpler" look of the original Kool-Aid Man but mostly because even though the 2011 uses pretty much the exact same template, the original just feels slightly spookier. I like the black night sky background and the one gigantic devil bat. Plus Ghoul-Aid just appears to be slightly more toxic looking than its 2011 counterpart. I am all for toxic fonts on children's drink packages.

Of course the 2011 package is great here in 2011. Unlike most products, who try to cover up the fact that they are Halloween related by putting words like "fall" on the package and throwing some festive looking pumpkins on the front and calling it a day, Ghoul-Aid goes the full distance and makes a package that could not be mistaken for anything but Halloween. I love it. 

The difference between a good Halloween season and a bad one are often hard to pinpoint but I can tell you that Halloween is often dictated by adding up all its parts and seeing if what you get at the end of the day was worth the effort. On its own Ghoul-Aid might not be able to make for an excellent Halloween season but Ghoul-Aid combined up with everything else goes a long way into making 2011 a memorable experience.

The first video that I ever posted on this blog was me making Kool-Aid Fun Fizz and I have not had a reason to upload another video until this Halloween Countdown entry. I feel like I am starting to typecast my digital cameras video function to only Kool-Aid related videos. I would still like to know what the people at Sony would think if they knew that I was using there spiffy HD camera functionality to take 1920x1080i video of Kool-Aid. Some engineer someplace is probably crying. Neverminding him though, we have to take a look at Ghoul-Aid Scary Blackberry in action!


As it turns out a minute and a half video of me making Kool-Aid is not exactly the most interesting thing you will watch so I decided to spruce it up a little bit and add some spooky Halloween music. I went through track after track using everything from the Twilight Zone theme to John Carpenters Halloween score. Nothing seemed to fit. So I dove back even deeper into my catalog and stumbled upon this little piece of German opera music (which astute readers will recognize from the faux Grindhouse trailer "Werewolf Women of the SS") and suddenly the entire tone of the video switched gears.

In my opinion it now looks like some sort of bizarre snuff film from the 70s and every single time I watch it I half expect the camera to pan back and Buffalo Bill from 'The Silence of the Lambs' to be standing there dancing naked in front of a mirror. These are clearly thoughts that one can only produce during Halloween. Let's see Santa Clause's fat ass try to match this one!

Click for Larger Image!
Scary Blackberry Ghoul-Aid was a little harder to photograph than I had anticipated but I am slowly becoming an old pro at strange still photographs like these. I found it impossible to get the exact color of Scary Blackberry to show up on film. In every picture it just comes out as a dark purple but I assure you this is not the case.

When looking at Ghoul-Aid with a naked eye you will see that it is actually a very dark blue, almost black in nature color with just a hint of purple. It also tastes like no other Kool-Aid currently on the market either. This rang true for the original 90's Scary Blackberry and while I have not confirmed it myself, I do believe it to be the same flavor as the original run.

Just like the package artwork, the color and flavor of drink that the holy powdered substance produces just feels like Halloween. It looks like Halloween. Smells like Halloween. Tastes like Halloween. It is Halloween, ground up into little pieces and mashed into a fine dust that you may add sugar and water with if you so choose.

All things considered Scary Blackberry Ghoul-Aid is one of the most welcome returns to the Halloween Season I have seen in a long time. If  you where to ask me way back at the beginning of the year that I would get to drink not only Mountain Dew Pitch Black but Ghoul-Aid in 2011 I would have called you crazy but you also would have became my new best friend.

I really hope enough people will show Scary Blackberry the proper support it deserves, that way we can all enjoy it for years to come. Besides if this product succeeds it is opening doors for a Christmas themed Kool-Aid flavor down the line. And that my friends, is the greatest Halloween treat of them all

52 comments:

  1. Very nice, Kyle! The only thing missing is a picture of you with a Kool-Aid mustache! I like the original packaging just a bit better than the 2011 version, but, like you, I'm all about them going the distance and calling it "Halloween," and not just Fall. Yep, it's shaping up to be a great Halloween season, and stuff like this is just icing on the cake.

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  2. Where did you buy the Ghoul-Aid? It's nowhere in my town. People online keep saying Krogers, but there isn't a Kroger's around here for hundreds of miles.

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  3. Josey, I picked it up at a grocery store chain called "Hy-Vee" they had a big cardboard display set up that was impossible to miss. I would try checking all your local grocery stores as well as Wal-Mart. Good luck! I hope you find some.

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