Erich & Kallman Take the Funny to High School in New General Mills Spots

By Patrick Coffee 

Happy Friday. Our most recent reports on General Mills were all about the CPG company’s ongoing review and certain agencies’ disapproval of the conditions therein.

But that’s all water under the bridge for now. Today we’re more concerned with the fact that the company still runs some funny ads.

During a recent conversation with Erich & Kallman co-founder Eric Kallman, we learned that this active member of the current GM roster has several newer spots promoting sugary products that are strictly for the teens. The ads, which we found on the agency’s website, reflect that need to appeal to the high school demo with quick humor (if not quite TikTok speed).


First, consider the Fruit Roll-Up. According to its site, E&K got the assignment for this stretchy classic because the client “believed there was opportunity for Fruit Roll-Ups to be a growth driver by following a similar marketing model proven to be successful on Gushers and [Fruit by the Foot].” So they went for a timeless teen technique, embarrassing humor.

Back to the previously mentioned members of the “flat fruit snacks category.” For Fruit by the Foot, the agency notes that it couldn’t position the product as healthy, so in order to “earn the right to hang out in teen culture” it went with the evergreen selfie theme.

Will it sway the kids? We don’t know, but we like that the next recommended video is a Paula Dean classic starring some spicy mayo chicken breasts. Thanks, YouTube!

“We are showing up where teens are—on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, SoundCloud, Tik Tok and more—with ads that don’t take ourselves too seriously,” said Kaylee Pohlmeyer, marketing communications manager for fruit snacks at General Mills. “We are hanging out in teen culture by giving them a quick break from their busy lives to just have some fun.”

Finally, our favorite of the bunch, all of which appear to be new assignments for E&K, is a classic “one of these things is not like the other” effort for Gushers.

That was thoroughly gross, and the gym coach somehow almost reminds us of the “good steering wheel that doesn’t fly off when I’m driving” dude.