The Gerber baby is one of the most famous faces in the world. The classic face, however, will now be sharing the spotlight. Mary Jane Montoya is the newest face of Gerber. The spunky, curly haired 8-month-old was chosen from thousands to represent Gerber in the company's 2013 ad campaign.
Her father, Billy Montoya said, “It was real surreal, she called me at work and she said, ‘she won.’ That's all she said, and I said shut up!”
Her parents are Sara and Billy Montoya. The family lives in Fresno. They heard about the contest through a friend on Facebook and entered Mary Jane’s picture just hours before deadline.
“We went outside to get a shot because it was nice and sunny. She likes being outside but her attention was everywhere, up at the birds, down at the grass, we took a few pictures before we got one that we wanted to submit,” explained Sara Montoya. She said they didn't see it coming, “You think your baby is adorable, but when you see how many beautiful babies and toddlers there are, there were over 300,000. I mean, your chances are slim. You don't really think, hey, you've got a winner here.”
The family made an appearance on the today show where the contest winner was announced. That's where they also got to meet the original face of Gerber, Ann Turner Cook.
“We got a chance to go and get makeup and hair. We were able to see backstage and how that works. It was so great! Everyone there was so nice,” said Billy Montoya.
Mary Jane is the couple's first child. They plan to put the $50,000 cash prize straight into Mary Jane's college fund.
“Hopefully, she'll be able to focus on school and not have to worry about working, for sure she will. I can't express how much that means as parents. Can’t wait till she grows up and tell her that she was a Gerber baby,” said Montoya.
Mary Jane won't replace the original Gerber baby, but her face will be seen on new Gerber ads for 2013. Gerber ran the photo contest on Facebook. A panel of judges chose Mary Jane as the winner of the contest. The company said it hoped to find a child whose picture showed "visual appeal, expressiveness and consistency with Gerber's heritage."