Poppin' Fresh™, the Pillsbury Doughboy™, is not a person. He is a character that is used by The Pillsbury Company in many of its commercials and on its baking products. Essentially, the Pillsbury Doughboy™ can be described as a mascot or icon. Far from being trivial or unimportant, this character has grown to become the face of The Pillsbury Company. In fact, he is so popular that most people can identify the company upon seeing him, without ever seeing or hearing the Pillsbury name.
The Pillsbury Doughboy™ is a white, blue-eyed, pudgy, dough-like creature who wears a white scarf and a white chef's hat, with a tiny Pillsbury logo right in the middle of it. He blushes when kissed and giggles when poked in his ample midsection. Rudy Perz, the creative director of an advertising company called Leo Burnett, dreamed up Poppin' Fresh™ as he sat at his kitchen table in 1965. He imagined this character popping up out of tubes of refrigerated rolls. His idea led to a hit advertising character that has since appeared in hundreds of commercials.
The Pillsbury Doughboy™ was originally intended to be animated. One day, however, Perz saw an example of a technique called stop-action tilting on a television show and decided he wanted that for his character. To create a character that could be used with this technique, a 3-D Poppin' Fresh™ was made out of clay. Though this may seem to be a cheap way to make such a popular character, the clay doll actually cost a whopping $16,000 US Dollars.
Once the Pillsbury Doughboy™ was created, it was time to find a performer to give him a voice. More than 50 different actors were auditioned in 1965, and Paul Frees, who was also the voice of Boris Badenov on The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, was chosen.
Sadly, Frees died in 1986, and it was time for a new voice actor. Jeff Bergman, also the voice of Charlie the Tuna, accepted the job. Next in line to give voice to the character was JoBe Cermy, who has also been seen on detergent commercials. No matter who is giving the Doughboy™ his high-pitched giggles, he has been and remains a popular advertising icon. In fact, the character has even won advertising awards.