Sunday, January 30, 2011

Green Giant : Television Commercial (1965)

Green Giant is a vegetable company owned by General Mills. It is symbolized by two mascots, frozen vegetables,[citation needed] and also sells canned vegetables both under the Green Giant and Le Sueur brands. In Canada, where an important part of the population speaks French, the company sells canned vegetables under the Le Sieur brand instead of Le Sueur because "sueur" means sweat in French and it was not good marketing introducing sweat in food advertising. Le Sieur means "the Sir" in French and thus was a more appropriate name. The Green Giant brand is also licensed out by General Mills for fresh produce, which is managed by Potandon Produce (potatoes and onions specifically) and The Sholl Group II (all other fresh produce).

The company was founded in 1903 in Le Sueur, Minnesota, as the Minnesota Valley Canning Company selling sweet creamed corn. The name Green Giant was introduced in 1925 to help market the company's peas, and in 1950 the company adopted the Green Giant name. By 1930, Minnesota was the corn center of the world and Minnesota Valley had emerged as one of the country's largest producers of sweet corn. The Green Giant soon had five canneries in Minnesota in addition to the original facility in Le Sueur. In 1979, the company merged with another Minnesota company, Pillsbury, which was ultimately acquired by General Mills. At the end of 1994, Pillsbury/Green Giant sold six canneries to Seneca Foods including the original cannery in Le Sueur, which is now shut down and even the front offices were torn down in 2006.
The Jolly Green Giant is the mascot of the Green Giant food company. Created by Leo Burnett, the Giant first appeared in advertisements in 1928; the name originally came from a variety of unusually large pea called the "Green Giant" that the company canned and sold. The original TV commercial, first aired in 1953, features a small green puppet as the (Jolly) Green Giant (though the commercial itself was in black-and-white) stalking through what appears to be the Valley, through the use of stop-motion animation. He stops outside a small farm and holding out his hands, in which two Green Giant canned products are seen spinning into view: in his left hand, a can of his famous Niblets, and in his right, a can of peas. He then holds them out as the camera slowly backs out. A variation of this commercial features a scene that takes place in a family setting. In this, the mother character in the commercial implies that if one eats Green Giant products, one will become a Green Giant. The young boys featuring in the advert, however, are not scared by this, but seem rather excited. We can see this as they continue to devour their great Giant sweetcorn somewhat more quickly.

The images of these commercials are forever burned into my memories of growning up watching television


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