Ho Ho Ho! Green Giant Is Back

Burnett’s Campaign Has Jolly Huckster Spouting Quirky Lines
CHICAGO–The Pillsbury Co. returns to a more brand-oriented strategy for its vegetable line by resurrecting the Jolly Green Giant in a new print campaign from Leo Burnett.
The oversized vegetable salesman hasn’t been used in Green Giant’s brand advertising since 1991.
The Chicago agency’s campaign, breaking in mid-August, takes a humorous approach to the 75-year-old brand icon. All the ads put the leaf-toga-clad giant front and center, coupled with catchy headlines like, “Give peas a chance” and “Can I pick ’em or what?”
The campaign, part of a year-long celebration of the Giant’s milestone birthday, targets mothers and is appearing in publications such as Parenting and People.
“We want the Giant to speak to them as an ally,” said Jeff Hughes, media supervisor at Starcom, Burnett’s media division. “We chose magazines that really speak to [the targeted consumer], discussing topics such as parenting, cooking and health.”
In some cases, the ads were tailored to specific publications. An execution slated to run in the gossip-oriented National Enquirer includes copy that reads, “I’ve been digging up dirt for years.” In Parenting, the Giant says, “I make sure all my vegetables grow up right.”
The Minneapolis-based company is using the character to refocus its advertising to a more brand-oriented approach, said Heidi Thom, Green Giant vice president.
Billings for the new campaign were not disclosed. Pillsbury spent $13.5 million on its Green Giant line last year, and $7.5 million through March of this year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Leo Burnett has been Green Giant’s agency of record since 1935. As a young adman, Burnett himself transformed the giant from a white, bearskin-toting scowler into the laughing green valley protector of modern times.