CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. has been getting creative with its social media marketing, tapping into viral trends to make ads that do not look like ads.

While most of the videos the company posts on its TikTok account are recipe ideas using a variety of products from the fresh perimeter, some videos branch out to grab the consumer’s attention.

One recent video that was posted to Kroger’s account April 15 features a squirrel named Henry who is trying some different vegetables from Kroger’s private label veggie tray.

The video was created through a partnership with Brittnee Alexus, a TikToker with 455.6 thousand followers as of April 19. Her account features both videos of her taste testing products and videos about her pet squirrel Henry.

In the video posted on Kroger’s account, Henry is the one doing the taste testing. As the squirrel holds the different vegetables with his paws and nibbles on them, a voiceover rates how much he seems to like them.

Henry’s vegetable ratings are the following:

  • “Snap peas — 10 out of 10.”
  • “Broccoli — not so much.”
  • “He loves carrots — 10 out of 10.”
  • “This was actually his first time trying celery, and he’s just not sure about it.”

Another video that was posted April 18 shows a half-gallon jug of Kroger’s private label chocolate milk being held over a bowl on a kitchen table while someone cuts through the middle of the plastic jug with a knife. As the milk spills into the bowl, a voiceover and the captions say, “Stop opening your chocolate milk like this.”

The video switches to a clip of the same product in the same place without the cut from the knife as someone’s hand unscrews the cap. The voiceover and captions say, “Instead open it like this!”

The humor in someone doing a task inefficiently and pretending to discover a “life hack” when they do it correctly is a popular trend on TikTok that consumers who use the app easily recognize. There are many viral videos on the app of people doing the same joke with plastic bottles of water and soda.

Less than 24 hours after posting the video, Kroger received thousands of comments from consumers playing along with the joke. This gave the company an opportunity to interact with consumers and respond to their continuation of the joke.

Some of the most liked comments on the video include:

  • “I’ve been doing it wrong all these years!??”
  • “Does this work for strawberry milk?”
  • “Tried it. Didn’t work. Gonna stick with the Swiss Army way.”

While not every video that Kroger posts goes viral, the company continues the account’s growth by steadily posting new content at least once a day.

Kroger’s current top performing post is a tutorial for a garlic butter cheese bomb recipe that was posted Jan. 25, 2022. As of April 19, the video has 15.4 million views and 1.5 million likes.