Things About The Nesquik Bunny Only Adults Notice

For several kids, the taste of flavored milk — whether it's chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry — is practically synonymous with one brand name: Nesquik, also known to older generations as simply Quik (but more on that later). And for most of the time Nesquik has been on the market, the brand has had the same mascot: an excitable, fast-moving, talkative bunny rabbit who loves the taste of Quik just as much as young consumers do. But there was probably a lot about the Nesquik bunny that went over your head (and between your floppy ears) when you were a kid. 

Now that you pay attention to him as an adult, you might realize there are a lot of interesting details and marketing tactics that you weren't aware of. And considering customer tastes change over the years, so too does the Nesquik bunny. The character you're seeing on TV and in advertisements today might have a few alterations compared with the version that you saw as a kid. You might even realize that the people who brought the Nesquik bunny to life, including the illustrator and the voice actors, are also responsible for a few other memorable characters from your childhood. Here's a rundown of everything about the Nesquik bunny that kids would totally miss, but observant adults might notice.

The Nesquik bunny's official name is Quicky

When you were a kid, maybe you were just excited to see an animated bunny rabbit hopping across the TV screen in every Nesquik commercial, or his recognizable face on the front of the Nesquik container in your kitchen pantry. But one of the first things you might pick up on if you start paying attention as an adult is the fact that this brand mascot has a name: Quicky — and yes, it's spelled with a C, even though Nesquik isn't. 

Quicky has had his name ever since he made his first appearance back in 1960, according to the official Nesquik website (the same year Nesquik's strawberry milk powder debuted). Nesquik was an established brand by that point, having hit store shelves in the United States in 1948 under the original name Nestlé Quik. It later expanded to the European market in the 1950s, so the instant chocolate drink mix was already known on both sides of the Atlantic before it had a mascot that would make it much more recognizable for children.

There's a reason he's a rabbit

Nestlé could have picked any animal to be the mascot for its chocolate milk mix, and you could probably make a good argument that it would have made sense for the company to choose a cow (maybe even a chocolate-brown cow). Instead, Nestlé went with a rabbit — and there's a smart reason behind that decision, as explained by Graphic Mama Blog. There, Quicky is listed among the most iconic brand cartoon characters that bring recognition to the products they represent, along with Mickey Mouse as the face of the Walt Disney Company and Mr. Peanut as the face of Planters (among others). 

The concept behind making Quicky a rabbit? Because he's fast (or quick, which would be a more appropriate word choice). He conveys the fast speed at which consumers can stir up a glass of chocolate milk and enjoy it for an instant hit of nutrition. For context, Rabbit Care Tips states that a wild rabbit can run up to 45 miles per hour. How does that compare to drinking a glass of Nesquik? Well, Record Setter reports that Nicky P. from Bennington, Vermont, drank 14 ounces of Nesquik in just 17.90 seconds in March 2014. It sounds safe to say both of those are very fast.

You might recognize his voice on the commercials

As a kid, when you saw the Nesquik commercials, you might have just accepted Quicky's voice as Quicky's voice. But if you hear it as an adult, you might start to wonder whether it sounds a little bit familiar. "I've definitely heard that voice before," you might be telling yourself, "but where?" The truth is it depends on which Quicky voice you're hearing, but whichever one it is, there's a good chance it's a voice you've heard before on some classic TV shows. 

The most widely used voicework for Nesquik's bunny mascot is done by Barry Gordon, who is also probably the best-known actor among all of those who have recorded lines for the commercials. Other characters who get their voice from Gordon are Donatello and Bebop in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." He's also voiced roles in "SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron," "AAAHH!!! Real Monsters," and "Batman: The Animated Series." Gordon has an accomplished career outside of voicework, and he served as the president of the Screen Actors' Guild from 1988 to 1995. Other actors who have voiced Quicky include Marc Silk — the English-born actor who also voiced Coco the Monkey in the Coco Pops ads and Chip the Wolf in the Cookie Crisp commercials — as well as Eric Meyers, Guy Harris, and Ric Herbert.

Quicky got a redesign in 2005

If you came of age sometime during the 2000s, there's a good chance that Quicky the Nesquik bunny looks completely different to you now because, well, he is different. Quicky's got a whole new look. The mascot (as well as the Nesquik logo itself) underwent a brand redesign in 2005 to make it more appealing to a new generation. Gone is the traditional flat look to the cartoon with black contour lines around his fur. 

This redesigned Quicky actually has texture to his furry ears, cheeks, and tail. He's also wearing clothes — a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, though he still has the N around his neck (a much smaller and less noticeable N, but it's there nevertheless). As for the Nesquik lettering, the text is done more in the style of cursive script, which makes it feel less rigid than the original lettering. The bright yellow background and bold blue lettering are still the same colors, but in this redesign, the letters have a gradient fade transitioning to white on the bottom. So, if you're wondering whether you're going crazy because Nesquik doesn't look the way it did when you were a kid — nope, the brand is just keeping up with the taste of changing times.

He used to have a Q around his neck instead of an N

If you grew up in the '80s or '90s, you likely remember seeing Quicky with his trademark N around his neck — N for Nesquik, of course. Even after his redesign in 2005, he still had the necklace with the brand's initial. But if you grew up in the '60s or '70s, you might remember seeing his swag look a little different. No, you aren't misremembering the details — Quicky used to have a Q around his neck instead of an N, as you can see in this commercial shared by The Nostalgia Ghost

This Q was the initial for Quik, the name of Nestlé's chocolate milk powder before it changed to Nesquik. You can also see in the commercial that Quicky isn't wearing the signature clothes he will later have in his 2005 redesign when he started being depicted in a shirt, jeans, and sneakers — though he is wearing a baseball cap between his floppy ears. Accessorizing must have been something Quicky was apt to do, as he is seen wearing earmuffs and a scarf in this commercial posted by TV Toy Memories.

Quicky got in trouble for false advertising

This one might be a disappointment for Quicky fans — he got in trouble for false advertising. Well, Quicky himself didn't get in trouble; it was the Nesquik company, which was using Quicky in an advertisement that got deemed misleading when it comes to the health of Nesquik's target demographic: kids. The problem? According to The Guardian, the Nesquik ads stated that the chocolate milk made a "great start to the day," and the Children's Food Campaign took issue with this because of the product's sugar content. 

In a complaint filed with the Advertising Standards Authority, the Children's Food Campaign emphasized that these marketing claims were encouraging poor nutrition, especially when the claims were coming from a cartoon rabbit who would appeal to young audiences. Nestlé pushed back against the accusation, pointing out that Quicky is a character who's physically active, which inspires children to participate in a healthy lifestyle. Even though a typical serving of Nesquik has a little more than 20 grams of sugar, nearly half of that would be natural sugar from the milk that the powder is mixed with. Regardless, there wasn't enough evidence to support the claims of healthiness, and Quicky had to stop promoting the notion that Nesquik was a "great start to the day."

The same illustrator does other Nestlé mascots

Is there something about the artistic style of Quicky as an illustration that looks familiar? You've got a good eye. The most recognizable version of Quicky was drawn by Ramón Casanyes, a Barcelona-based artist who was commissioned by Nestlé back in the '90s to draw the rabbit. While Quicky had been a part of Nestlé's advertising for several decades prior, the version of him done by Casanyes came to be the one that modern consumers would know. 

Additionally, the gig to draw Quicky was what prompted Casanyes to establish his advertising design company in partnership with digital colorist Montserrat Aranda. Together, Casanyes and Aranda do many of the illustrations for Nestlé's branding and advertising, including the Cookie Crisp wolf and the milkmaid on the La Lechera sweetened condensed milk cans. They also do illustrations for Lucky Charms, Trix, and Wonka. Quicky remains arguably the company's most prominent character, however, and even stars in his own comic book.

He participates in National Bunny Ears Day

Ever hear of National Bunny Ears Day? It's on September 16. If you haven't heard of that holiday, don't worry — it's something Nesquik came up with, or rather, Nesquik came up with it in tandem with its advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather. And Quicky was really the star of the campaign, as he was the one featured prominently in one-minute commercials in movie theaters that showed him popping up at photo ops to give "bunny ears" to people by holding two of his fingers up behind their heads. 

The commercials were accompanied by the tagline "Break Out the Bunny," which encouraged the idea that Nesquik was something easy you could bring out whenever you wanted some fun and levity in your day — just as easily as you could hold up bunny ears behind a friend's head in a photo. The holiday campaign even had its own app called the Nesquik Bunny-fier, which allowed users to add cartoon bunny ears to people and objects in photos they were editing. All of this was to create a sense of fun for parents and kids and to give parents an excuse to share something they loved from their childhood — Nesquik, along with Quicky himself — with a new generation.

He's active on Instagram

Instagrammers take note — Quicky is on the social media platform, and he's pretty active. At least, Nesquik is active on Instagram — under the handle @nesquikusa – and Quicky makes frequent appearances in the company's posts, attending everything from sporting events to art conventions. He does this to interact with fans and encourage them to enjoy a bottle of chocolate milk. Over the account's history, Quicky has appeared in a Reel from December 2022 where he was modeling custom gamer shirts and greeting attendees at DreamHack Atlanta; then in a Reel from September 2022, he was checking out the Majorwavez Lab, where Nesquik-inspired athletic shoes were being manufactured. In yet another Reel from September 2022, he was walking around Los Angeles, and in a Reel from November 2021, he was attending Art Week in Miami Beach. 

In an image from January 2020, Quicky jumped on a popular trend at the time when users were showing different versions of themselves as they would appear on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder. In all these appearances, Quicky is interacting with fans, having fun, and — of course — offering people a bottle of Nesquik to share. Even when he's not the subject of the posts on Nesquik's account, his presence is still felt. In an image from May 2023, a man wearing a hat with rabbit ears is shown using a bottle of Nesquik as if it were a phone, with the caption explaining that Quicky called and said he's out of strawberry milk. While many small children might not be using Instagram, Quicky's presence appeals to adults who either grew up drinking Nesquik and still love its taste or who want to share it with their children.

His appearance is a lot more subtle (but still there!) on the Ready to Drink bottles

Nesquik has expanded its product line over the years. It's no longer just about the drink mix — it's also about the Ready to Drink (RTD) bottles, which come in a variety of flavors and even some that are fortified with protein. If you look at these bottles, you could be forgiven for thinking at first that Quicky isn't on there — but he is. A silhouette of his head dominates the bottle, with one ear flopping behind the Nesquik lettering. It's subtle, but it's undeniably Quicky. 

As Pack World explains, there's an important reason behind the look that these RTD bottles have. Demand for healthy RTD options on the market is high, but it's more about drinks for grown-ups than it is for kids. This brand makes the RTD bottles more appealing to adult consumers, while still maintaining at least some presence of the mascot that everyone associates with Nesquik milk. Many of the adults reaching for the RTD bottles might have a nostalgic love of chocolate milk and appreciate the nutritional benefits it provides (like being low in fat and full of protein). But there's a chance they would not be inclined to drink anything with a cartoon bunny's face on the label — even though adults still seem apt to give Quicky a high-five in an Instagram Reel. Quicky remains a part of the brand expansion, just in a much subtler way.

He partners with celebrities for commercials

Quicky has always been a bit of a celebrity himself, being the face of the Nesquik brand and everything. And if you're a kid, he would have definitely been the one you were most excited to see in all the Nesquik advertisements. But now that you're an adult, you might notice that there are a few other familiar faces who are appearing alongside him. In one particular commercial that was recently released, Quicky has an interaction with DK Metcalf, the wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. 

When Metcalf goes to the refrigerator, who should pop out but Quicky himself? Metcalf asks him for a strawberry-flavored Nesquik, and although Quicky offers him chocolate and then vanilla ("Quit playing," Metcalf tells him), he eventually produces the requested strawberry RTD. "Bunnies up, buddy," Metcalf tells him as he drinks, waving the index and middle fingers of his hand holding the bottle as if they were rabbit ears — and Quicky responds by wiggling his ears back at him. For an adult, Quicky's interaction with Metcalf has an important meaning: even a famous athlete loves the delicious taste of Nesquik's flavored milk, and the 14 grams of protein is a nutritional plus.