One of advertising’s most enduring mascots, the Pillsbury Doughboy, celebrated his 50th birthday in November of last year.
Rudy Perz, creative director at Leo Burnett Chicago, originally came up with the idea for the Pillsbury Doughboy and, according to General Mills, “imagined him popping out of a can of Pillsbury refrigerated biscuit dough”.
He was brought to life through stop motion animation with the help of Cascade Studios in Los Angeles. The animators used ve bodies and 15 different heads to create numerous looks for the Doughboy, and, according to General Mills, “it took 24 individual shots of the Doughboy for every second of animated action in each commercial”.
The Doughboy’s first words were “Hi! I’m Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy!” and he first appeared on TV in 1965 in a spot called ‘Dancing Fingers’.
Pillsbury still uses the Doughboy in its advertising today. In 2014, he appeared in a holiday ad for the brand, and he is one of the giant balloons featured in New York City’s annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.