Freberg later said the cancellation led him to concentrate on advertising work. He formed his own company, Freberg Ltd. (but not very), whose motto was Ars gratia pecuniae (Art for money’s sake.)
One of his most memorable early spots was a 1956 radio commercial for Contadina Foods, a small San Jose-based tomato-paste maker that was taking on the giant Hunt’s company.
Freberg came up with a jingle — “Who puts eight great tomatoes in that little bitty can?” — and sales of Contadina tomato paste increased dramatically within weeks.
Later dubbed “the father of the funny commercial” by Advertising Age, he won more than 20 Clio Awards for his television and radio spots.
Freberg later promoted such varied products as Sunsweet pitted prunes (“Today the pits, tomorrow the wrinkles; Sunsweet marches on!”) and Heinz’s Great American Soups, for which he created a lavish Busby Berkeley-style production number with a tap-dancing Ann Miller atop a giant can of chicken gumbo soup.
After the break, some samples of his magnificent precendent-setting work.