Ad of the Day: Athenos

Kraft's feta cheese spokeswoman returns, and still hates (almost) everything about young people

Your cranky, conservative grandmother still thinks you have sex for money. Now, you're just doing it on camera, too.

The Athenos Yiayia (Greek for grandma) is back to offer her disapproving takes on the sun-bathing, video-chatting lifestyles of today's young people—and to pitch the Kraft-owned brand's prepackaged feta cheese. The charmingly cantankerous old woman, conceived and created by Droga5, isn't known to pull punches. Last year, in a spot selling hummus, she opined that a young lady's relatively modest cocktail dress might be better suited for a prostitute. In the new spots, Yiayia mistakes a pool party for a porn set, and berates a woman for marrying a machine—not realizing the husband is pictured on a laptop, and is not the laptop itself. The Athenos tagline: "Maybe the only thing approved by Yiayia." Because that peasant Yiayia … she's impossible to please. But she loves the brand's food! Because it's authentic. She knows, because she's authentic, too. Get it?

The spots walk a fine line: The brand is making an ethnic joke, but isn't really part of the culture it's ribbing. So, anyone arguing that the campaign isn't in the best taste—as some critics did when the last round of ads launched—may have a fair point. Still, most people seem to love them: The humor is pretty harmless—funny, even—and the character, while hyperbolic, seems to capture an endearing and resonant bit of truth about the inter-generational dynamic. So, credit to Kraft for doubling down, rather than backing away, after the original round sparked a minor flap.

At the end of the day, though, we'd wonder if most Greeks wouldn't shy away from the mass-produced Feta bought off the shelves—if only to avoid a dressing-down for not appreciating the feta their Yiayias made from scratch. For shame.

Client Kraft Foods
Brand Athenos
Titles "Video Chat" "Pool Party"
Agency Droga5 New York
Creative Chairman David Droga
Executive Creative Directors Ted Royer / Nik Studzinski
Copywriter / Associate Creative Director Scott Ginsberg
Art Director / Associate Creative Director January Vernon
Head of Integrated Production Sally-Ann Dale
Executive Producer Scott Chinn
Associate Producer Bill Berg
Group Account Director Whitney Radia
Strategy Director Tom Naughton
Production Company Park Pictures
Director Alison Maclean
DOP Tico Poulakakis
Executive Producer Jackie Kelman Bisbee
Producer Cody Ryder
Greek Production Company Central Athens
Editorial Mackenzie Cutler
Editor Dave Anderson
Editorial Assistant Valerie Sachs
Executive Producer Sasha Hirschfeld
Sound Sound Lounge
Mixer Tom Jucarone