Bob Canada always does interesting illustrations. Right now his favorite of mine, by far, is his wonderful mockup of a a product that shoot have been … Moonmen™ Drink Mix. The idea struck his fancy because of his love for “Funny-Face” drink mix and shortly thereafter the art and an entire mythology was born.
Conceived by Morty Jooseman, Moonmen™ Drink Mixes were launched in 1968 at the height of the space race, but were never quite as successful as Funny Face. Kids loved the colorful space age characters, but they weren’t quite so keen on the actual drinks themselves. Jooseman had decided that the world already had enough drink mix flavors like raspberry and cherry, so he insisted on more unusual tastes (with the exception of grape, his favorite flavor).
Most likely it was this strange lineup of flavors that kept them from becoming more popular. 1960s America just wasn’t ready for “exotic” flavors like kiwi, kumquat and durian. Kids loved the characters, but that popularity unfortunately didn’t translate into sales, and by 1971 Moonmen™ disappeared from grocery shelves and faded from the public’s memory, until now.
Been a long time since I participated in a good gasoline giveaway. I think the last time with some Disney glasses a handful of years ago. I always like them, I mean I need to buy gas, might as well make it fun — like a happy meal. Back in the 1970s they had all manner of cool giveaways, including the infamous Funny Face soft drink mix. This banner, which is being auctioned at Hake’s was part of the giveaway campaign. Get you bid in before May 27th.
According to Hake’s:
Large and impressive 43×81” cloth banner with wooden slats in provided housings at top and bottom to keep poster stable for outdoor display at “76” gas stations in 1970 while their Funny Face promotion was underway. Synthetic canvas-like material printed in orange/blue has nice, large 26.75” dia. image of Jolly Olly Orange drinking from glass dominates banner and text “Free Funny Face Soft Drink Mix With Gasoline Purchase.” A drink pack was given out with each tank of gas, orange being the only flavor offered. Due to size and fabric, this was for outdoor use and few examples survived. Banner shows some lt. wear from storage with aging to white areas of banner. Some small tears along top and bottom and lt. wear to bottom right margin. Still displays Fine+.
Funny Face was a powdered instant drink mix similar to Kool-Aid, marketed by Pillsbury in the 1960s and 1970s. They used calcium cyclamate as a sweetener, but due to a subsequent discovery, the sweetener was changed to saccharine, with the option of buying packets with no sweetener. Oh and some of the mascots were terribly racist. Be prepared…