Like a lot of older actors who just assumed had died years ago, we didn’t realize until recently that the frozen veggie-shilling Jolly Green Giant had gone missing for most of the last decade. But after eight years of lying dormant in the back of the freezer with that block of peas you don’t remember buying and never quite feel like eating, General Mills has decided to bring back the 84-year-old character in a move to get kids eating vegetables.
In recent years, the giant had been relegated to low-profile appearances, appearing only as a shadow in some spots. Stuck in a standing position for decades, he will transition from a protector of the land to a kind-friendly “wingman” for parents to help make healthy eating fun, said Yumi Clevenger-Lee, marketing manager for the Giant brand. On Facebook and at an augmented-reality event in New York City in October, he will ask kids to take “One Giant Pledge” to eat one more vegetable a day. “We’re bringing the jolly back to the Green Giant and helping him get his mojo back,” she said.
General Mills is also bringing back the Cheerio Kid, which we at Consumerist HQ only recognize from clip shows of vintage ads.
But all this nostalgia got us wondering which other former advertising characters deserve a resurrection. For instance, our inner kid would get a kick out of seeing actor David Leisure revive his Joe Isuzu act — though it might be a bit difficult since the only place you’ll see an Isuzu in the U.S. is in a used car lot. On second thought, that might make the ads even funnier.
Or maybe it’s time for the Charmin folks to bring back Mr. Whipple. Granted, the actor who played the character has passed away — so maybe Mythbusters’ Adam Savage can recreate his legendary character of Jimmy the stock boy?
Perhaps you say “good riddance” to any and all ad characters. Whatever your position on this topic, go ahead and share it in the comments.