Zima is a carbonated alcoholic beverage by MillerCoors.
The product as well as its spokesman were often mocked on Married... with Children as well as in other media in the 1990s.
The product was marketed toward those who wanted something else besides beer, specifically men who wanted something manlier than a wine cooler. It had a low alcohol content and a citrus based flavor profile, making it more of a cooler than a hard liquor. Though, the company also made Zima Gold in 1995, which had an amber color and higher alcohol content. The new variation sold very poorly and was discontinued within the same year.
Commercials for the product during the early to mid 1990s typically featured a character commonly referred to as "The Zima Guy", played by actor Roger Kabler. The character was dressed in an oversized dress suit and derby hat and usually shown sitting down in an empty dining area. His character would typically talk directly to the camera to tell a story that introduces the product, as it alternates between him and 20-something year old men and women hanging out at a bar or cook out as they debate about what to drink. The Zima guy was also known for replacing the "S" with "Z" in words during his talk about why Zima is different, such as "Try zomething (something) different", "It's zophisticated (sophisticated)" or "Zay (say), what's your zign (sign)?".
By the later part of the 1990s, the commercials no longer featured the Zima guy; Instead of marketing it as a unique and somewhat sophisticated alcoholic beverage that a group of friends could enjoy, the commercials became more comedic and marketed Zima as an ice cold beverage that could make people cool while out in the heat compared to beer or change their outlook about how their date would turn out if they gone with beer instead.
The brand officially ceased production in the United States in 2008, but is still available in Japan. In 2017 and 2018, a limited run of Zima was introduced again in the U.S., but has not had another limited release since then.
Zima was often mocked for its taste and being a beverage for people who couldn't handle beer but thought they would look cool and sophisticated drinking it, while the Zima Guy was mocked for being an unattractive hipster who couldn't pronounce the "S" in words.
References on MWC
- In "Dial B for Virgin", Bud Bundy, who is doing volunteer work for the Virgin Hotline, mentions the product's spokesman twice.
- First, Bud tries to keep a young woman named Esther calm, after she was turned on by a Bugle Boys jean commercial, by telling her "Now, think of the guy from the Zima commercials!".
- Later, after visiting her house and seeing Esther bend over, he tells himself "Zima Guy! Zima Guy!" to avoid getting turned on by her.
- In "Bearly Men", as Al Bundy, Bud and Ephraim Wanker track down a bear in the streets of Chicago, Al notices a pile of empty Zima bottles on the sidewalk and believes that this is a sign that the bear is nearby. Ephraim then asks how could Al be so sure, and he tells Ephraim "...no human could possibly drink more than one Zima!"