Thursday, September 7, 2000

It's time to cash in our Doughboy points.

All of us at the office has some sort of odd attachment to the Pillsbury Doughboy. I think it's our interest in design that causes us to admire these fictitious spokes characters of consumer products. We already have a natural attraction to packaging design. While working on product marks, I spent a lot of time in the cereal aisle staring at the brightly colored graphics that lure the kiddies in. A well designed logo can illicit oohs and ahhhs out of our crowd. So these mascots are a mere extension of product packaging. All that is good and wonderful personified into a doughy little critter. And Pillsbury doesn't want anyone messing with that image either.

It's a designers dream. Creating a being that will represent your product. You can control everything about them. (And they won't get arrested for drug possession and make you look bad like some celebrity spokespeople)

When I discovered that the doughboy had a real name... Poppin' Fresh, I was delighted. The Michelin man is also well liked around here for his colorful history. He too has a name...Bibendum. His name comes from Latin "Nunc est bibendum!" meaning "It is time to drink!". Original posters show Bibendum raising his glass full of broken glass and nails and offering a toast of "To your health! Michelin tires drink obstacles!". Perhaps Firestone needs a spokes character.

Sadly though, not all mascots live on like our beloved Poppin' Fresh. The lucky ones just get makeovers like Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima and Betty Crocker. Maybe it's better to stick with gooey non human mascots. Their hairstyles never go out of fashion.

The event that really cinched our love for Poppin' Fresh was the day one of the programmers brought in a 3 foot tall stuffed Poppin' Fresh. From then on he was our mascot. He occupied our chairs when we were on vacation, sat in on meetings for us and was always there for a satisfying hug.

An insert in the Sunday paper alerted us to the thrills of collecting Doughboy points. There was no covering up the fact that we all consumed a lot of the doughy sweet goods, so a collection box was made and the points started pouring in. Our first acquisition was a Doughboy cookie jar. The big plus is the nervous giggle that it makes when you open the lid. Shameful crimes were committed when the jar was filled with Oreos and Chips Ahoy rather than the Pillsbury brand.

A lot of the points have been accumulated by myself and my cubicle neighbor, Joel. We checked the Doughboy site weekly to see when the Doughboy Points Store was updated. I even set the big day in my Lotus Notes Calendar. Now there are a whole new line of products to chose from and we have a grand total of 302 points. We were thinking of getting 10 Vinyl Doughboys at 25 points each and a dish set for Joel's daughter, Hannah, at 50 points. Oh happy day!

1 comment:

  1. How do I find out how to turn in my points for prizes??????? SMC