Krojis Go Viral as Kroger 'Low' Ads Become Memes

Parody tributes follow newest dancing Kroger ad
Kroger Low
Photograph courtesy of Kroger Co.

The Krojis are getting down, and getting it done.

The animated characters, created to bring Kroger’s much-discussed “Fresh for Everyone” branding campaign to life and to generate buzz for the brand, have taken off in an internet meme in which its whimsical “Low” ads have been rendered by creative observers in ridiculous context, and shared on social media channels.

The commercials show Krojis in a store shopping, clicking online coupons and dancing to the sounds of Flo Rida’s 2008 song “Low.” A spot known as “Get Low” came out last summer featured a Kroji mom and her embarrassed daughter; this was followed more recently with “Lower Than Low,” in which a heavyset Kroji man in sandals gets down in the meat department.

The Krojis were introduced as part of Kroger’s “Fresh for Everyone” brand overhaul in November 2019, and tell an “inclusive story” of its egalitarian mission. Hornet, the New York production company working with Kroger’s ad agencies, recruited the noted animator and director César Pelizer to create their look. (Pelizer was also behind Kroger’s newly launched “ChefBot” Twitter character).

“The idea was to represent everyday people. We got to create a range of recognizable Kroger characters that would celebrate diversity in a strong, bold, colorful style,” Pelizer said in a case study published on Hornet’s website. “During pre-production, I took several trips to my local supermarket just to observe the people around me.”

Like a lot of viral phenomena, the #KrogerAd meme draws from multiple levels of context, including hacking, gaming and “DIY” culture, and an association made by participants with other memes, including a concurrent spoofing of a Grubhub ad that also happens to use dancing cartoon characters celebrating food from an app.

A rash of Kroger parody tributes arrived in social media last month shortly after the retailer released “Lower Than Low” on its own social channels. Most of the memes are titled “Kroger Ad But…”

Kroger Ad But Verbose:

Kroger Ad But He Gets Too Low:

Kroger Ad But It’s Poorly Recreated:

Kroger Ad But With Every Music Ever:

Kroger Ad But the Grubhub Gang Joins In:

Kroger Ad But Its Really Cursed:

Kroger Ad But in Real Life:

Kroger Ad But He Gets Too Low:

Kroger Ad But the Budget Is Low Low

Kroger’s “Lower Than Low” ad, which was posted on YouTube by the company’s official account on Jan. 5, has nearly 900,000 views—although more “downvotes” than “upvotes” at 23,000 to 30,000. “Get Low” released in September, has more than 500,000 views.



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