Pillsbury Custom Ugly Sweater
Christmas Is Best-Represented By An Iconic Baking Company’s Mascot
When General Mills (The Pillsbury Company), one of the oldest and best-known companies in The United States, approached us in 2018 to help them create a custom knitted Christmas sweater, it was obvious from the minute we agreed to work with each other that our design should be centered around their iconic mascot, The Pillsbury Doughboy. After all, what is more synonymous with Pillsbury’s delicious brand of D-I-Y baked goods, than their Poppin’ Fresh character? Nothing. Having come to the public’s attention for the first time back in 1965, the Doughboy would prove advantageous when it came to their wanting to create a viral marketing campaign to not only help them attract new customers of different age demographics, gain brand visibility, but also remind everyone that they were still making incredibly high-quality and yummy products. Also even though they’d been around since the 1880s, they were still a company desiring to be relevant in the era of social media marketing.
Pillsbury’s delicious buttermilk biscuits, pizza doughs, cake mixes, ready-to-spread frostings not only revolutionized American life in the first half of the 20th century, their approach to how they reached their customer base changed how everyone would eventually promote their brand in the food industry — with a mascot! When they first introduced the Doughboy in their print ads and on television back in the mid-1960s, in the the pre-internet days, the company went viral organically because the Doughboy made their brand unforgettable to many moms, but also their 2.5 children, making every member of the family search out Poppin’ Fresh when they went to their local grocery store each week.
Creating two Pillsbury Doughboy designs for General Mills, we worked closely with the company to develop their custom ugly sweaters; we not only designed the sweaters, but we also manufactured, warehoused, sold, and even drop-shipped their Doughboy ugly holiday sweaters. Additionally, we also gave the company special access to our retail websites which allowed them to monitor inventory and sales of the two custom ugly Christmas sweaters. Given how the Pillsbury Doughboy was already an icon in American pop culture, the viral campaign on social media for the sweaters was pretty effortless. The Pillsbury custom knitted ugly Christmas sweaters became an internet sensation during the 2018 holiday season. The ugly sweaters were not only available for sale on the official Pillsbury website, our website UglyChristmasSweater.com, they were also given out to promote the baking brand via contests and giveaways across dozens of mom, trend, geek, news, sweepstakes, and fashion websites, but also food blogs.
In the end, the only problem that both we and General Mills had with the Pillsbury ugly Christmas sweaters was that we had a hard time keeping up with the demand for them. The internet went so crazy for the Doughboy ugly holiday sweater, that even today (3-years later), we’re still being inundated with requests to make them both available again to the public.