Joseph Pedott was ahead of the wave on ch-ch-ch-chia seeds, TV advertising, and plants as the new pets.
Who is he? Joseph Pedott was an advertising executive and entrepreneur, best known for introducing Chia Pets to consumers after coming across the invention at a trade show in the late 1970’s.
- Pedott was born in Chicago, and had a difficult childhood.
- Following his mother’s death at 13, Pedott fled his abusive father at 16, and subsequently lived at a YMCA.
- Through the help of a Chicago nonprofit, Pedott was able to attend college at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and went on to start his own advertising firm.
- Pedott’s experience in the advertising world and his product savvy helped drive the huge growth of chia pets, but he also worked on other iconic products like the clapper light switch. (“Clap on, clap off.”)
- Pedott died on June 22 at the age of 91 in San Francisco, according to the New York Times.
What’s the big deal? I can’t put this more clearly: ch-ch-ch-chia!
- In 1977, Pedott attended a housewares convention, where he stumbled upon the rudimentary version of a chia pet, a terra cotta figure with ‘fur’ made from chia seed sprouts.
- He took a liking to the product, and thought it simply “needed better advertising.” So, he bought the rights and all of the product inventory for $25,000, and went on to create one of the most infectious ad campaigns of the late 20th century.
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