“It looks like pornography…” – an unfortunate counter-argument to the premise of “sex sells”, and the reason why David Beckham’s underpants stopped traffic. However, it is the profusion of bikinis on air that annoys me – “look at me, envy me, you will never be me unless you sample x…” they seem to say. However, far from arguing against this prevailing trend in the communications industry (a largely unstoppable force), instead I am toasting Yiayia for being so gloriously Greek and grandmotherly (if such a word exists) in this advert by Droga5 New York for Athenos feta cheese.
The cantankerous and conservative character, Yiayia, has such an avid dislike for today’s young that you fear that she might be hiding some dark and Miss Haversham-like secret. Her disdain for their sun-bathing, video-chatting, phone-bound practices causing her to sneer disapprovingly, while sinisterly close to an outdoor oven; and dismiss some newly-weds without battering a heavily wrinkled eyelid. However, I find her honesty refreshing, and her seal of approval for the Kraft brand of cheese seems well-earned – the product amidst the uplifting crop of Mediterrean veg, irrestible to a sun-deprived Brit.
Generational and cultural stereotypes aside; the campaign works because it plays off a simple love-hate dynamic and storyline – Yiayia is notoriously difficult to please, old-fashioned and stubborn. She yearns for the good old days – a remnant of which is Athenos cheese. Her sense of loss and lack of purpose masked by her sharp tongue and disapproving wit. She eats cheese to relax and reminisce. Thus lies the brand truth – authenticity and heritage that appeals to all. And unfortunately on my behalf – Yiayia’s anti-charm seems to have done trick.