Ecto Cooler was a product tie-in with the cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters, based on the 1984 live-action film, Ghostbusters. It was a rebranded version of an earlier drink from Hi-C called Citrus Cooler, which had been on shelves as early as 1965 and continued to be sold until the rebranding to Ecto Cooler. Hi-C struck a deal in 1987 to promote the series by developing a drink. Expected to last only as long as the series, the drink was successful beyond expectations and continued after the series' 1991 cancellation to be produced for more than a decade. The Ecto Cooler box featured The Real Ghostbusters character Slimer, as did the commercials.
Slimer left the box sometime around 1997, but Minute Maid discontinued the product in 2001, at which point it was renamed Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen. Slimer was replaced on the packaging by a similar-looking blob of lips. The product was still noted as ecto cool on many store receipts. In 2006, Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen was renamed Crazy Citrus Cooler. In 2007, Crazy Citrus Cooler was discontinued.
In April 2016, Coca-Cola announced that Ecto Cooler will return for a limited time, starting May 30, as part of a promotion with the rebooted Ghostbusters. A company spokeswoman said the new drink will have its original sweeteners simplified to just high fructose corn syrup, and other ingredients reduced so it "maintains the correct amount of tartness". Ecto Cooler was re-released on May 30, 2016. The color of the drink was green, the same as the original drink. When chilled, the drink's can changed from a dark green color to bright slime green. Ecto Cooler was met with major backlash from fans due to the limited availability of the drink. The limited edition can version of the drink was only available online at four sites including Amazon.com and H.E.B.Neither could keep it in stock due to the overwhelming demand. For Amazon, stock was limited by region, making it much harder to purchase. The juice box version was even harder to find as it was shipped to only a handful of smaller grocery stores. A representative for the drink on the product's Facebook page informed fans that they needed to demand that their local store carry the product. By the end of the first week after going on sale, the drink was still very hard to find and was appearing on websites such as eBay for over $100 for a 12-pack. On Amazon, however, the drink is one of the most sold items. Currently, physical Walmart stores as well as regional store Meijer carry them in stock.
In October 2016, the Ecto Cooler Facebook page announced that the drink would be again discontinued at the end of the year with a post saying "My eyes are welling up with green tears as I write this: #EctoCooler will be laid to rest at the end of this year #RIPEcto". Fans were urged to stockpile the drink while they still can; however, response to this news from fans was overwhelmingly negative considering the drink was never mass-produced or easy to find in stores during its May to December run.