But Quaker Oats dropped her because it felt she was too Long Island for a national audience. Triarc briefly brought her back, then stopped using her too. Cadbury never used her at all. Still, Wendy made a lasting impression. “Whenever I go through an airport,” she says, “I hear ‘Hey, Snapple Lady!’ I am out in the world as the Snapple Lady, without a brand.”
I asked Wendy what went wrong. She says that Snapple strayed so far from its roots, both literally and figuratively, that it doesn’t have any sense of what originally made it great. “I am not sure that any of them running the business have any idea about the way that it was,” she says. “These people who are perpetuating the brand are the people who have cut off their connection to the past.”
“It’s like when the Tin Woodman lost its heart,” she says. “There is nothing in there anymore.”
One perk, though: Wendy was on contract through 2007, and was still getting paid even though she wasn’t being used. At one point, she tried to convince Twinkie to hire her as a spokesperson. More recently, she’s been doing “what I want to do when I want to do it,” crossing items off her bucket list. In May, she went to Nevada and shot a glock, uzi, and machine gun for the first (and last) time. “It’s not a bad life,” she says.