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Faces of Dr Pepper – Frosty Dog

June 30, 2014

Frosty Dog and pup beating the drum for Dr PepperThe next face of Dr Pepper from the Exhibit Design class’s exhibit that we take a look at is Frosty Dog.  Amy, Hannah, and Annie have this to say about Frosty Dog:

Have you ever seen one of Dr Pepper’s oldest mascots, Frosty Dog?  He was introduced in 1956 and stuck around until the early 1960s.  He was often caught saying frosty man, frosty! as he and Pup brought cold, delicious Dr Pepper to consumers.

Frosty Dog appeared in the Cotton Bowl parade in DallasDuring his time as the face of Dr Pepper, Frosty Dog appeared in a wide variety of different advertising. These included cartoons, signs, a dog naming contest, and even a float in the Annual Cotton Bowl Parade in Dallas.

Frosty Dog also got around quite a bit when his signs appeared on the syrup truck-trailers in Baltimore, Birmingham, and Dallas in May of 1959. These large rolling billboards traveled all across America boasting the frosty man, frosty! slogan and promoting “the awareness that Dr Pepper is ‘going places.’” These colorful baked enamel signs were great for advertising because they lasted a long time on the road and did not cost significantly more than the painted signs generally placed in grocery stores.

A rolling advertisment on the side of a Dr Pepper delivery truck

Frosty Dog goes on the roadThe Dr Pepper Company was not the only one who had the idea of taking Frosty on the road. Also in 1959 the R. J. Mealey Corporation created its own talking St. Bernard, which Richard Mealey himself strapped to the back of his station wagon and took off on an adventure. The R. J. Mealey Corporation, however, was not ground-breaking in its use of a talking Frosty dog; the original talking St. Bernard debuted at a Columbus, Mississippi plant in 1958. Regardless, this pooch, affectionately named the Happy Huckster, traveled an impressive 25,000 miles in his journey across eight western states to visit different Dr Pepper bottling plants.

Impressively the Happy Huckster didn’t have any trouble weathering the adverse climate conditions he encountered on his journey, including snow, rain, and dust. Ultimately the R. J. Mealey Corporation teamed up with the Dr Pepper Company and created several hundred Happy Hucksters for them to use at their own bottling sites. This promotion ended up being very good for business because the presence of these talking dogs often led to a two to three times increase in sales.

A Frosty Dr Pepper is known as a Frosty Pep!Although Frosty obviously enjoyed a great deal of success as a face of Dr Pepper during his time, his popularity reached its peak with the Name the Dog contest in the summer of 1959. While the Dr Pepper Company tried to incorporate Frosty Dog in their new direction with the introduction of the Frosty Pep, a float of vanilla ice cream drenched in Dr Pepper, they ultimately moved on to the It’s Different…I Like It campaign.

With warmer weather here, don’t forget this blast from the past and stay frosty man, frosty!

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The Dr Pepper Museum is located at 300 S. 5th Street in downtown Waco.  The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM and Sunday from Noon until 5:00 PM, last ticket sold at 4:15.  For more information, visit us on the web at drpeppermuseum.com. To purchase your own Dr Pepper memorabilia, visit the Museum’s online gift shop.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2014 9:50 pm

    There had been several TV commercials made with the pooch too. I recall one where some guy in an office setting yells “I’m gonna blow my top!” and he does so, giving the signal for Frosty Dog to come to his aid with a Dr Pepper (Not forgetting to say “Frosty man, frosty!” at the very end). Recall seeing that once on YouTube and never again.

    Frosty also makes a cameo in this famous intermission film shown in theaters (kinda comes out of nowhere at the very end but at least they found a use for him long after his time with DrPepper had met it’s end).

    I’ve been told it was animated by Dallas-based Keitz & Herndon, Inc. around 1966, they’re best remembered for their “Jot” cartoons (use to see those on a local Christian show in the 80’s). Going on Google, I see one of it’s founders passed away earlier this year.
    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dallasmorningnews/obituary.aspx?pid=169387804

    • September 2, 2014 4:01 pm

      Thanks for the added information. The intermission snack bar ad is great!

    • Jack Theakston permalink
      April 12, 2015 10:06 pm

      Keitz & Herndon did handle the Dr. Pepper account at points, but I don’t think the African/Frosty Dog spot was their work, and it’s definitely ’59, not ’66. The “Friendly Pepper Upper” campaign that followed this spot was done in the same style by Jamieson Film Co. in Dallas.

  2. Mark permalink
    October 14, 2014 3:07 pm

    Took a picture of Dr Pepper sign in Comanche Oklahoma , with the Frosty Dog included.
    Comanche Oklahoma - Sign

  3. Stephan Zell permalink
    March 9, 2015 9:16 pm

    I am restoring a Happy Huckster Frosy Man Frosty Dog as pictured in the station wagon going across the Golden Gate Bridge. It is in fairly rough shape, but did survive intact. I am restoring it into original condition,minus the electronics…..which didnt survive too well. I am going to get it going again though. It has a loop recorder inside where the a message can be recorded and looped as it sat in a store on display. There is also a switch that allow for a microphone to be used to speak through the dog’s speaker in its chest. The inner motor moves the head and raises and lowers the arm that holds a bottle.

  4. August 22, 2015 7:52 am

    By the way, I found this home movie someone had of a parade featuring someone in a Frosty Dog suit along with his son!

  5. July 6, 2017 3:40 pm

    I had a Frosty Dog T Shirt when I was a little tyke.

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