Mr. Owl and the Question that Plagues Mankind

By | May 8, 2019

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The questioning boy and Mr. Owl from the 1970s Tootsie Pop commercial. Source: (

Forget the meaning of life…the biggest unsolved question that has plagued mankind since at least 1968 is “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” This burning question is at the root of one of the longest-running and best-loved animated commercials of all time—the Mr. Owl and the Tootsie Pop commercial. Here’s what you don’t know about that beloved commercial. 

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Source: (

Mr. Owl was the Brainchild of the Doner Ad Agency

David Doner, president and CEO of the Doner Ad Agency, once explained that his agency was hired by the Tootsie Roll company to create a television spot for its new Tootsie Pop, a sucker with a hard candy exterior and a Tootsie Roll center. The creative team at the ad agency was tasked with finding a memorable way to introduce the lollipop, show the connection to the Tootsie Roll candy, and to get people talking about the product. They decided to play up the fact that consumers wanted to get to the soft, Tootsie Roll center as quickly as possible. They had the boy in the commercial ponder, “how many licks does it take?”