How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?

Clad in a blue and white striped shirt, a stylized red straw hat, and seldom far from ocean waves, it’s impossible not to immediately recognize Punchy, the brand mascot for Hawaiian Punch fruit punch drinks.

While the first recipe for Hawaiian Punch was developed over 80 years ago, Punchy has only been around since 1961. Ad agency Atherton-Privett, and artist Martin Mandelblatt, is credited with helping create Punchy with a personality to embody the fun, tropical image of the brand.

Punchy made his TV debut in February 1962. Skipping along with his glass of punch, Punchy would encounter passerby Opie (sometimes called “Oaf”) and teasingly ask, “Hey, how about a nice Hawaiian Punch?” As Opie eagerly agreed, Punchy’s version of “Hawaiian Punch” would be a slapsticky slug to the face, leaving a dazed Opie in his dust as he skipped along before pausing to ask audiences, “Wasn’t that a refreshing commercial?”

Punchy, Opie, and the tagline were instant hits with audiences. The commercial even aired on The Tonight Show with Jack Paar, who liked it so much that he said, “Let’s play that again… The second time is free.

Both Opie and Punchy appeared in commercials up until the 1990s and in 2003, Punchy received an updated makeover from Radium/Reel FX for modern audiences. Headed by concept artist and longtime Hawaiian Punch fan, Ronnie Bates, the new and improved Punchy remained true to his 1960s self. He still has the signature hat and shirt, but now he also has tanned skin, cut-off jeans (something his original sparse illustrations didn’t include), and is fully three-dimensional, arriving on any scene that could use some fruit punch hanging ten on a surfboard.

Image credit: Dr. Pepper Snapple Group


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