Poppin' Fresh, more widely known as the Pillsbury Doughboy, is an advertising icon who served as the mascot of the Pillsbury Company and appeared in many of their commercials. Many commercials from 1965 until 2005, then from 2009 to 2011, concluded with a human finger poking the Doughboy's stomach. The Doughboy responds when his stomach is poked by giggling (Hoo-Hoo!, or earlier on, a slight giggle "tee hee".)

History with the Macy's Parade

Although the Pillsbury Doughboy is mostly known as a giant balloon fixture in the Macy's Parade to many, his history with the Parade extends beyond that. The Doughboy appeared as a costumed character from 2005 to 2007, where he appeared aboard Pillsbury's Holiday Lovin' Oven float. This costume also made an appearance at Macy's Inflation Celebration 2007, where he greeted Parade fans and visitors alike.

After a year of absence from the Parade, Pillsbury would continue to inspire Thanksgiving bakers across the U.S., as the classic Pillsbury Doughboy made his Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade debut in 2009, rising to the occasion as a brand-new balloon. The balloon featured the Doughboy raising his arms in the air, after being poked in his 500-pound tummy, as he sports his iconic chef's hat and handkerchief. The balloon would make five consecutive appearances before retiring after the 2013 Parade.

In 2014, General Mills commissioned the Macy's Parade Studio to produce a brand-new Pillsbury Doughboy for the 2014 edition of the Parade. Initially, Senior Director of the Parade Studio, John Piper, was disappointed to hear of this as the original balloon "flew like a gem"[1]. However, the company requested to have it be the exact same shape and size as the previous balloon, much to Piper's pleasure. As a result, a brand-new Pillsbury Doughboy balloon flew for the first time in the 2014 Parade. The character has come to be known as a Parade staple, as the balloon still makes regular appearances as of 2019.


  • In 2018, a chamber inside the Doughboy had burst during preparation, causing minor damage on his mouth. Despite this, the balloon remained fully intact for the rest of the Parade.


Below, you will find the music tracks that played during the balloon's appearance on the NBC telecast.

  • Generic Macy's music (2009-2013)
  • "Smilin" (2014-Present)

See also


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