Apr 19, 2012 • By

Remembering Dick Clark

General Mills joins in remembering entertainment legend Dick Clark by recalling a couple of memorable company events that he was involved in.

Clark died yesterday at the age of 82.

The 41st Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest

There have been many famous hosts of the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest over the years, but knowing that the 41st Bake-Off in 2004 would be in Hollywood, Pillsbury turned to Clark to give it definite star appeal.

Clark spent the morning of the contest walking around the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood & Highland Complex talking with the 100 finalists, including the eventual grand prize winner, Suzanne Conrad, as you see in this photo.

Clark and Conrad later shared the stage of the award show as confetti fell.

Kris Burns, now the Integrated Communications Director for our Bakeries & Foodservice division, was the Pillsbury Bake-Off manager in 2004.

Here’s what she told me about Clark.

“He was an incredibly gracious host. He took the time to meet all of the contestants and have his photo taken with each of them. He was such a professional,” Kris says. “We had one quick rehearsal for our award show, and he very quickly learned the script and order of events. He was incredibly charming and had that perfect camera smile.”

Kris told me the contestants loved having Clark there.

“He made everyone feel at ease and special. Even though he was a huge celebrity, he made it all about our Bake-Off contestants and their special day.”

Kris also recalls that Clark’s mother-in-law was very ill during the contest. “He could have easily been distracted, but when he was working, he was 100 percent on. When he took a break, we could tell he was tired and had a lot on his mind. He was very humble.”

Millenios

A few years earlier, in September 1999, Big G turned to Clark to help launch Millenios cereal in what was a familiar setting for him, Times Square in New York City.

Millenios was a limited edition Cheerios cereal to mark the start of the 2000s, with the traditional O’s and new pieces shaped like the number “2.”

Several hundred people watched Clark countdown to unveil the Millenios box.

“I can’t think of a better place than Times Square to introduce the cereal created by General Mills to celebrate the new millennium,” Clark was quoted in the press release.

Afterward, he took time to sign a box of Millenios as part of an effort to announce an online charity auction on eBay to benefit local chapters of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Pam Becker, who worked in brand public relations at the time, told me that Clark was great to work with and told our staff he was all theirs for the day and was very accommodating.

We’re grateful for the chance to work with such an American icon.

Mark Addicks, our chief marketing officer, told me Clark was a perfect fit as a partner on both the Bake-Off and Millenios.

Do you remember seeing Dick Clark at the 41st Bake-Off or at the Millenios launch event?

Let us know in the comments.