Kraft’s Greek grandmother ads draw criticism

Posted March 1 at 10:07 a.m.

From USA Today | Northfield-based Kraft Foods has drawn attention — and some criticism — to a new ad campaign introduced yesterday promoting its Athenos hummus. In a television ad that started running Monday, a young woman talks to her grandmother as she prepares to serve Athenos hummus to her friends, only to be insulted and called a “prostitute.” Her grandmother is referred to as “Yiayia,” the Greek word for grandmother.

The ad was created by the agency Droga5, which said in a statement that it is “thrilled to be working with a company so willing to push creative boundaries.”  Get the full story: USA Today »

Poll: Do you think Kraft’s ad is offensive?

To see the other Kraft Athenos ads, click here.

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  1. Spartan March 2 at 2:21 a.m.

    BW, how much of a moron are you? Hellenic economy may be at its worst point right now but ALL Greeks can buy stupid Kraft hummus. The only problem is that noone here in Greece eats hummus. We have a better cuisine. One that includes tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, lots of vegetables and most of all, REAL olive oil and not Hydrogenated vegetable oil that Kraft and its like companies use by the ton to make tasteless products.
    Apart from that, I invite all Kraft stuff to come here in Greece and if they find a woman that talks or acts like yiayia, I’m willing to relocate to Lebanon and eat hummus for the rest of my life.

  2. nancy March 2 at 8:12 a.m.

    Athenos hummus is horrible – I feel bad for people that buy it and think that’s what hummus should taste like.

  3. Tina March 2 at 9:26 a.m.

    The ad is hilarious! I’m a fan of Sabra Hummus myself (among the store-boughts). What is so offensive about a hard-to-please yiayia? And both actors (the yiayia and the girl) are perfect!

  4. AnOtherGreek March 2 at 9:47 a.m.

    I am offended at how often people get offended these days.



    What a hypocrite!

    Well, sir, –I– am offended at how often people are offended “at how often people get offended these days.”


    We now have the “offense police” here BLOGGING their ***** that we have an opinion!

    And for the MADISON AVENUE APOLOGISTS: Listen, if you want to defend this commercial, and advertising’s methods in general, well, it shows your priorities. There is a long and disturbing record of advertising steamrolling over humanity’s concerns (environment, health, identity, dignity) in ORDER TO MAKE A BUCK. Go ahead and pick your stance.

    Lastly, the ad is technically not racist, as someone pointed Greeks are not a “race”. But it most certainly is prejudice. And for any Greek that has been told, in spite, “You are not WHITE!”, the issue only becomes deeper and more complicated.

    Crappy commercial, a spit in the face of yiayia’s generation, which is filled with GREEK FEMINISTS! Learn your history people (and do the math as well, it’s 2011, not 1970!)

    Thank you.

  5. Lena March 2 at 10:14 a.m.

    The thing that makes me laugh is that Yiayia is the spitting image of my grandmother, who was Norwegian and English!

    I can see where people would be offended by the prostitute comment, though. I usually get hand-made, fresh hummus from my local co-op.

  6. David March 2 at 1:32 pm

    The Athenos greek yogurt tastes like crap. And this commercial is just outright stupid. If I want hummus I will make it myself fresh without any articficial ingredients and chemicals.

  7. Ana March 3 at 1:45 pm

    Absolutely hilarious, great ads!

  8. ernest t bass March 3 at 4:12 pm

    lighten up Francis. puh-leaze….good or bad, it’s harmless. what a bunch of ninnies we are.

  9. Lee March 4 at 4:40 a.m.

    That was great!

  10. chicagorob March 4 at 5:33 pm

    I love that everyone is up in arms over how bad the product tastes, not how offensive the commercial could be. Are we all ADHD now?

    To those who just had to let us know they only eat natural homemade organic hummas – WHO CARES! Go milk your goat and flip your compost pile, none of us are impressed.

  11. AnOtherGreek March 4 at 7:51 pm

    hey, it could be that the “offensiveness” of the commercial is NOT unrelated to the “offensiveness” of the product’s taste or composition.

    Often, things are a package.

    I know it is —speculation—, but if this was the product of a corporation that only used natural, organic products, respected green concerns, and used excellent ingredients, well perhaps they might have had different things to brag about or even joke about in their commercials…

    Still, that’s speculation. I’ll grant that.

  12. GenGwok March 5 at 3:22 a.m.

    I cannot believe people are even mildly offended by this commercial! I thought it was hilarious, and I’ve got to be one of the most “conservative” people regarding television viewing. I mean, come on!! Lighten up! With the crap that’s on now….from the puke Disney puts out, to the porno on MTV, to the garbage in the news and the prime time celebrity journalism on all the major channels, people are actually offended by the word “prostitute”?! Heck, you hear “*itch” and “*astard”, “*ell” and “G-da**” and even “OMG” on a regular basis, and “prostitute” is offensive?!?! Hypocrites. I loved the commercial.

  13. GenGwok March 5 at 3:27 a.m.

    …and on top of it, to hear fellow Greeks insulted by this…THAT is embarrassing. Stop taking yourselves so seriously. I’m Greek and thought it was great. Not “anti-Greek” at all. Nothing worse than a pretentious, full of themselves Greek. Grow up.

  14. AnOtherGreek March 5 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks for the advice, GenGwok,
    …you know, “Lighten up! Grow up!” I know it comes from love to your fellow Greeks.

    You say you “loved” the commercial. You are entitled to your own opinion. How Greek and democratic of me, no? :)
    The commercial did not offend or embarrass you, rather you gave it praise. The only criticism you offered was aimed at your “fellow Greeks” and their “pretentiousness”.

    Such passion!

    Should it now be my turn to tell you to Grow up and to Lighten up?
    Why does it bother you soooooooooo much that there are Greeks that consider such stereotypes offensive? When people speak up about something that bothers them, and then PEOPLE TAKE THE TIME TO BLOG about how THEY instead are bothered that someone ELSE was bothered, well, that seems not only insensitive, presumptuous, and totally egotistical, it also reveals your philosophical stance.

    In the beginning of your post, you identify yourself as conservative. It’s usually the conservatives telling people to lighten up and grow up, “your concerns are trivial and unworthy.”

    You say: “Nothing worse than a pretentious, full of themselves Greek.”

    Should I now say: Nothing worse than Uncle (Clarence) Thomas Greeks who reserve all their critical energy for their fellows, fearing any criticism or dissent as pretension?

    Pretense runs both ways.

  15. PhillipP March 8 at 5:53 a.m.

    This is the funniest commercial ever. Anyone offended needs a life.

  16. Beth March 8 at 10:12 a.m.

    I don’t think this ad ‘pushes creative boundaries.’ All I know for sure is that one minute I’m watching American Idol. The next minute my twin boys are asking me what a prostitute is. The only thing creative about this ad was the answer I had to give to my kids so they might not be too interested in what a prostitute is. Mild racism and calling women prostitutes isn’t very creative at all. It’s just, well, irritating.