First off, and for the sake of accuracy, it should be noted that lovably irresistible lump of dough with the chef’s hat is really named “Poppin’ Fresh.” Most, however, know him simply as the Pillsbury Doughboy, the giggly mascot with the sensitive tummy. And when he was called on to represent a line of fresh-baked rolls, he didn’t hesitate to rise to the occasion. Let’s take a look back at this memorable mascot, shall we?
Poppin’ Fresh is a warm family man, just trying to make some bread to support his family – his wife, Poppie, and their children, Popper and Bun Bun. Never one to loaf around, Poppin’ Fresh has been selling viewers on the virtues of Pillsbury products for over 40 years. He’s a happy-go lucky spokesman without a mean (or any, for that matter) bone in his body. Even when taunted by the dreaded finger, the one that insists upon poking, or rather, inserting itself, into his abdomen, he merely grabs his tummy and let’s out a little giggle – a graceful pacifist if there ever was one. His gentle ways have helped to endear him to generations of TV viewers and, in the process, sell millions of canned rolls, cookies, and toaster treats – all adorned with his smiling face.
Making his television debut in 1965, the Pillsbury Doughboy was the brainchild of the famed Leo Burnett advertising agency, known for their memorable characters such as Charlie Tuna, Morris the Cat, and the Jolly Green Giant (as well as many others.) Artists Chet Noice and Martin Nodell would bring the character to live visually, while his voice would come from the legendary voice actor, Paul Frees. Frees’ voice has accompanied many legendary characters such as Boris Badenov in Rocky and Bullwinkle, Toucan Sam, and even Paul and George in the 1965 cartoon series, The Beatles.
The yeast-filled, snowman-like Poppin’ Fresh has appeared in over 600 commercials since he first popped out of can of rolls and charmed viewers all along the way with his pleasant demeanor, even when it meant laughing in the face of adversity. He has proven himself a roll model to his family and television audiences everywhere.
If you have any memories of the Pillsbury Doughboy that you would like to share, we welcome them in our comments section, as we tip our hats to this iconic advertising mascot from yesteryear.