There is one baby food that has made a name for itself with an iconic image. Gerber has been around for decades. Part of their success has to do with the adorable baby that’s part of their logo. For the last 90 years, Gerber has been choosing a “spokesbaby” for their brand each year. It’s an annual contest that has resulted in a lot of publicity for the company over time. Back in 1928, Dorothy Hope Smith submitted a charcoal drawing, which has since become the iconic Gerber baby logo.
Smith’s charcoal drawing was of her neighbor’s baby. And it won! The image was later trademarked in 1931 and is known now by most Americans. The baby was Ann Turner Cook. And at 91-years-old now, she never told anyone about her Gerber baby secret until its 50th anniversary in the 1970s. Since then she’s loved being in the spotlight.
Because she was the first Gerber baby, she is the most famous. Most others don’t get the recognition she does until this year. And Ann had a hand in that.
The most recent winner was one-year-old Lucas Warren. He lives in Georgia with his doting family. And when he won, he instantly made history.
In the 90 years since Gerber started the baby modeling contest, Lucas was the first ever to have Down syndrome.
“Lucas’ winning smile and joyful expression won our hearts this year, and we are all thrilled to name him our 2018 Spokesbaby,” Bill Partyka, president, and CEO of Gerber said in a statement. “Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby, and this year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”
When Lucas won, his family received $50,000. Besides the cash, Lucas will be featured on Gerber’s social media page all year long.
Lucas’s mother, Cortney Warren, could not be happier. She knows that his new-found recognition will spread awareness to “the special needs community and educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world — just like our Lucas.”
The Warrens are not the only ones excited to see Lucas’s face on the brand. The original Gerber baby, Ann, could not be more “delighted.”
“I know you will take great pride in representing Gerber this year, as I have for the past 90 years,” she said. “There is no greater privilege than to be a universal symbol for babies all over the world. I am delighted to take part in this celebration. Lucas is precious, and I look forward to watching him grow this year!”
Just four months after he won, Lucas got to meet Ann, the original. Because Lucas’s family was in Tampa for vacation and that’s where Ann lives, Gerber arranged for them to meet.
“As soon as we walked into the room, (Ann) and Lucas immediately bonded,” Cortney and her husband, Jason, wrote in a statement to Today.com “Lucas walked right up to her, flashing his signature smile and waving, and we could tell he loved her right away.”
What do you think about the way these two Gerber babies connected?