Friday, October 15, 2010

Funky Food Friday: Orville Redenbacher

Even though nearly everything about him screamed made-up company mascot, Orville Redenbacher was much more than just a spokesperson: He was the brains behind the operation. Back in 1965, he and his business partner perfected a popcorn hybrid that was fluffier than traditional kernels, and had fewer hulls.

After selling the stuff from the trunk of his car, he went national in 1976, with his first commercial. Orville showed off just how much fluffier it popped, and promised, "You'll like it better or my name isn't Orville Redenbacher."

Redenbacher died in 1995. And in 2007, brand owner ConAgra launched a controversial ad campaign starring a CG version of Redenbacher. Remember that one? Even though it creeped out all of America, grandson Gary Redenbacher thought Orville would have approved:

"Grandpa would go for it. He was a cutting-edge guy," Gary told USA Today. "This is a way to honor his legacy."

See what you think. Here's the creepy ad, and the 1976 spot that started it all:

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