UPDATE: New Gerber baby with Down Syndrome meets the original one (who’s now 91!)
The first ad campaign featuring a Gerber baby with Down syndrome has made its debut.
UPDATE: Two-year-old Lucas Warren, the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome, met 91-year-old Ann Turner Cook, the woman who modeled for the iconic ad in 1928.
Young Lucas, from Dalton, was selected as the first child with Down syndrome to be named a Gerber baby since the contest's start more than ninety years ago.
PREVIOUS STORY: The first ad campaign featuring a "Gerber baby" with Down syndrome has made its debut, and the star of the campaign is thrilled with the attention.
“When we’re out and about, the more people come up to him, the more he loves it,” mom Cortney Warren said of her extroverted 2-year-old, Lucas. “It really makes his day.”
Cortney and Jason Warren discovered that their newborn son had Down syndrome when Lucas was born in 2016. They didn’t know what to expect. At age 2, Lucas became the first child with Down syndrome to be named a Gerber baby, chosen from 140,000 to represent the brand as its iconic “poster baby.”
Just last week, the adorable toddler made his advertorial “spokesbaby” debut on Gerber’s Facebook page here: Gerber Baby Lucas: “Make Every Little Bite Count." In the advertisement, Lucas enjoys Gerber’s organic puffs with whole grains, clapping and flashing his now-famous tremendous grin to the page’s 11 million followers.
While the ad has only just gone up on Facebook and Instagram, Lucas’s parents said that their son is already getting more attention wherever he goes — which he unequivocally adores.
“He’s loving the attention, for sure,” father Jason Warren said. “He’s just a normal 2-year-old. He really loves the experience as much as we do. He loves the cameras and everything.”
“It’s not much different from our normal lives, but more people come up and know Lucas by name,” his mother Cortney said, laughing. “Now, it’s not only our friends, but people we’ve never met coming up to us and saying, ‘Hey Lucas!’”
Cortney said she was pleased with how the ad came out, especially since Lucas had not exactly been cooperative on the day of the shoot.
“I’m just really glad that they got a great shot,” she said.
“It’s so great to see him waving and clapping, because that’s his personality: he claps for everything now. That’s just who he is, and it’s amazing,” she said.”For me, it’s like I have my own little personal cheerleader.”
Friends and family of the Warrens, the couple said, were smitten by the ad.
“I think we’re all pretty biased, of course,” Cortney laughed. “When everybody started meeting him after he was born, they instantly said that I should try to get him into modeling, so this is something similar to modeling he’s got going on now.”
As a parent, Jason said, the ad helps other people understand what it's like to have a child with Down syndrome.
“It makes our lives as parents easier,” Jason said. “Whenever someone asks us, ‘What’s it like to live with Lucas?’, I can just show them this video.”
But even more moving than the ad itself, Jason said, has been the response from the general public.
“I see all these different families from all over look at my son and just smile, or share their own kid on social media so the world can see them too, or just to say hi to Lucas," he said.
“That’s something I’ll never be able to get over,” Jason said. “It’s amazing to see how a little smile brings out the best in everybody.”