Character Study: The Jolly Green Giant

Though MLT Creative is a B2B marketing agency, we also have a passion for advertising in general, and an endless fascination with the industry’s history. That’s why our offices are home to hundreds of classic advertising characters, in figurines of plastic, porcelain, metal and clay. Some of these brand mascots are relics of a bygone era, while some endure to this day, but each of them has a story. And every week, I’ll take a closer look at one.

A creation of the advertising agency Leo Burnett, The Jolly Green Giant is known for his enormous size and signature leafy outfit.This Week’s Character Study: The Jolly Green Giant

Santa Claus isn’t the only figure who’s famous for bellowing “Ho, Ho, Ho” – though your kids might not be as thrilled to get gifts from this vegetable-pushing pitchman.

Created by Leo Burnett in 1928, The Jolly Green Giant has remained the symbol of the Green Giant food company ever since. He maintains a friendly demeanor despite his monsterous size, and is always decked out in his trademark duds: a leafy, jumbo-sized tunic, wreath and boots that match his emerald hue. He was voiced in his earliest stop-motion incarnation by jazz singer Len Dresslar, and later portrayed in live action form by Olympic athlete Keith R. Wegeman.

Over the decades, he’s been name-dropped by everyone from Johnny Carson to the Ghostbusters, and has become such a beloved character that the town of Blue Earth, Minnesota erected a 55-foot-tall statue of him, which towers over the highway to this day.

Character Study is an ongoing series featuring background trivia on classic advertising characters.