A 1-year-old child is capturing consumers’ hearts—and Gerber is grabbing positive PR in the process.
On Wednesday morning, “The Today Show” announced the winner of Gerber’s yearly photo contest: Lucas Miller, who is toddler with Down syndrome.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 7, 2018
Gerber posted the announcement on its Facebook and Instagram profiles, as well:
Consumers’ calls for their babies to be featured on the brand’s iconic bottles caused Gerber to launch its photo contest eight years ago.
The original Gerber baby was Ann Turner Cook, who recently celebrated her 91st birthday. A black-and-white sketch of her face from 1927 became Gerber’s iconic logo. Over the past 90 years, the company has received “countless” photos from parents who see their own babies in the famous sketch.
In 2010, Gerber launched the Photo Search to celebrate these adorable babies and choose a special winner.
However, Warner being chosen out of more than 140,000 entries is particularly noteworthy: He’s the first child with Down syndrome to secure Gerber’s title since the company launched its call for consumer photos.
“We’re hoping this will impact everyone — that it will shed a little bit of light on the special needs community and help more individuals with special needs be accepted and not limited,” said dad Jason Warren. “They have the potential to change the world, just like everybody else.”
“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.”
Many consumers on social media users applauded Gerber for the selection:
Absolute favorite story of the day. First Gerber Baby with Down Syndrome. Amazing. Congrats Baby Lucas! pic.twitter.com/QPraDclQas
— David Wade (@davidwade) February 7, 2018
Finally!!!!! He’s adorable.
— Andrea Gross (@ang_darling_) February 7, 2018
This definitely brought a tear to my eye, since we found out that our little fella has DS I’ve definitely worried about some of the things these parents have worried about, but the world & my little guy keep proving me wrong, can’t wait for what lies ahead, thanks @GerberLife!
— á·Oá·áªááKáá¯Eá©á¯E ð¦ (@BobDuckNWeave) February 7, 2018
I am a parent of a 2 yr old girl with DS! I am crying tears of joy that a child like my daughter was recognized to be the face of their brand! Congratulations to this beautiful family! Way to go Lucas! pic.twitter.com/a6yZtKBEhF
— L. Walker (@DeLo2) February 7, 2018
kudos to Lucas and to #gerberbaby .. This is my America. Thanks Gerber
— Marlene Koenig ðºð¸ (@royalmusing) February 7, 2018
— Terese Fantasia (@taffyfantasia) February 7, 2018
So sweet!! Precious child! Kudos to Gerber.
— Shari Lynn (@LynnSharig8) February 7, 2018
I have a Sister In Law that has Downs, and it’s a great thing that DS folks are finally getting the opportunities that we all get!
— Kelly Dugas Coveney (@kellydugs272727) February 7, 2018
— Cape Ann Weather (@CapeAnnWeather) February 7, 2018
Congratulations Lucas!! ðNDSS is so excited that Gerber selected an individual with Down syndrome! ðð https://t.co/cLZUdOnpnX
— NDSS (@NDSS) February 7, 2018
It’s only 0830 and my day has been madeðððð
— C-ShellÙ (@Isla_78) February 7, 2018
Joyful sweet child. Inclusion…Brava, Gerber. ð
— Em Lonsdale (@fhaedra) February 7, 2018
@GerberLife I believe things like this bring people together. Nicely done.
— Ká©á° ð (@Kamballs) February 7, 2018
— Leslie (@blmm317) February 7, 2018
Warren’s family will receive $50,000 for Lucas being chosen as Gerber’s 2018 “spokesbaby,” and Lucas will be featured on the brand’s social media feeds throughout the year.