Grumpy Old 4th Graders Can’t Understand Kids Today in Go-Gurt’s Hilarious New Ads

Erich & Kallman bring the laughs for General Mills brand

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Don’t look now, but it’s almost time for kids across America to go back to school.

From the perspective of jaded fourth graders Tim and Charlie, this isn’t cause for celebration. It’s just another reason to sigh and bemoan the changing times as younger children—meaning, third graders—lose all sense of perspective.

For example, when Tim and Charlie were in third grade, there were no convenient EZ Open Go-Gurt containers. And don’t even get them started on yoga class.

The new campaign, by San Francisco agency Erich & Kallman and director Harold Einstein, manages to stretch the physical hilarity of dressing up two young children as salty codgers well beyond its breaking point by placing Tim and Charlie in new, uniquely awkward situations.

Of course, each spot also makes sure to highlight how much the brand’s new package design makes enjoying this longtime kid staple easier than ever … even while riding a hoverboard.

The campaign stems from a simple insight: After fielding 17 years’ worth of complaints about hard-to-open yogurt containers from kids and parents alike, General Mills just decided to make it as easy as possible to tear the top off that tube.

“Go-Gurt is all about championing kid independence. But hard-to-open packaging is a huge disconnect for a brand that keeps kids going,” said the brand’s marketing director, Tsubasa Tanaka. “Thin perforation is now added to the top of each tube, so ‘Tear here’ is a guarantee—not a challenge.”

The ads, however, are aimed right at Mom and Dad.

“Every parent naturally compares their kids’ lives to memories from their own childhood, so the conversations that Tim and Charlie are having are familiar ones,” said Erich & Kallman creative director and co-founder Eric Kallman. “The characters that we’ve created are so visually compelling, we think this campaign will really break through in both traditional and social media.”

Appropriately, the final spot in the series concerns the experience of—what else?—watching an ad.

Mindshare ran media strategy for the campaign, while design agency Ultra handled the packaging.

Agency: Erich & Kallman
Client: General Mills/Go-Gurt
Campaign: “Kids Never Had It So Easy”

Production Company: Dummy Films
Director: Harold Einstein
Director of Photography: Jay Feather
Executive Producer: Eric Liney

Editorial Company: Arcade Edit
Editor: Dave Anderson
Executive Producer: Sila Soyer
Producer: Fanny Cruz

Finishing Company: Arcade Edit
Flame Artist: Tristian Wake
Executive Producer: Sila Soyer
Producer: Fanny Cruz

Color: The Mill LA
Colorist: Gregory Reese
Producer: Diane Valera

Sound: Lime Studios
Audio Mixer: Matt Miller
Audio Assistant: Lisa Mermelstein
Producer: Kayla Phungglan
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.