Nov 05, 2015 • By

PODCAST: The Pillsbury Doughboy

When Rudy Perz sat down at his kitchen table in Chicago one night in 1965 with a can of Pillsbury refrigerated dough biscuits, he was hoping to come up with a few ideas for an ad campaign for the brand.

The idea that popped into his head – after he popped the can open – would become one of the most popular advertising icons in history: The Pillsbury Doughboy.


Rudy Perz, left, with a colleague at Leo Burnett, working on a Pillsbury Doughboy commercial. (Courtesy: Leo Burnett Company)

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Doughboy, November 7, 1965, we devote our “A Taste of General Mills” podcast this month to Perz and the development of Poppin’ Fresh.

Perz died in April, at age 89.

In the General Mills Archives, we uncovered an audio recording of a conversation he had in 2004 with our archivist. So we’ve put together some clips from that interview for this podcast.

You’ll hear Perz talk about:

-How he got the idea for the Pillsbury Doughboy and how it was pitched to Leo Burnett and Pillsbury

-The origin of the Poppin’ Fresh name

-The decision to use stop motion to animate the Doughboy in early commercials

-Choosing the voice of the Doughboy


In the podcast, you’ll also hear from Martha Nora, one of Perz’ daughters, I asked her about her father’s career and what it was like to grow up with the Doughboy.

It’s easy to listen to our show when you’re on the go. Just listen on any podcast app on your mobile device (search for A Taste of General Mills) or through iTunes – or right here on our blog, below.

Listen (41min)

SHOW NOTES – Episode 3: Nov. 5, 2015

Blog post: The Doughboy is 50!

Blog post: Honoring advertising’s greatest icons

Blog post: Pillsbury Doughboy creator dies at 89

Link: Rudolph Perz, Creator of Pillsbury’s Doughboy, Dies at 89

Commercial: Maureen McCormick and the Doughboy (1min)

Commercial: “The Gift” (:30)

We publish a new episode of our podcast every month. Go back and check out our first show, in September, which featured interviews with the team that produced the the gluten-free Cheerios commercials – and the long-time General Mills employee who stars in them. Our second episode, in October, focused on our Monster Cereals.

If you have an idea for a future episode of our podcast, we’d love to hear it. Please let us know in the comments below or via email at

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