Little Lad From Starburst’s Weird ‘Berries and Cream’ Commercial’ Goes Viral on TikTok
No, that Lord Farquaad haircut-sportin' Little Lad obsessed with berries and cream was not a collective fever dream.
Millennials might remember that back in 2007, Starburst launched a weird commercial starring a short British lad who danced and sang about their at-the-time new Berries and Cream fruit candy flavor. With his Peter Pan collar and sharp bob cut hair, the Little Lad clapped and squealed as he burst into song about the new flavor.
It was peculiar. It was creepy. And it was hilarious.
The bizarre ad, which remains one of the 2000s' most wacky commercials, might have been lost to time, had it not been so memorable due to its strangeness. (Similarly you might recall Quiznos' surreal, singing Spongmonkeys commercial, or the grotesque "Skittles Pox" ad.)
Now, 14 years later, an unlikely Berries and Cream resurgence is taking place, and Little Lad has been thrust suddenly onto our social media timelines — specifically on TikTok's FYP (for you page).
Here's the Little Lad "Berries and Cream" trend, explained.
What Is 'Berries and Cream' on TikTok?
If you're active on TikTok, you may have seen users uploading videos set to the "Berries and Cream" song. The audio is taken directly from the Starburst commercial.
Sometimes the trend involves people clapping and doing a little jig similar to the original dance as they imitate the character's wild enthusiasm for... well, you know; other times folks use the audio to poke fun at their own Little Lad-like hair or outfits.
The trend seems to stem from back in January 2021, when podcaster Justin McElroy uploaded a video with the audio and asked users to share their best interpretations of the beloved dance and the awkward lad behind it.
"Please make great art with this sound, it's what we all need," McElroy wrote.
It took seven months to catch on, but now the audio has been used in over 75,000 TikTok videos — including from some celebrities!
Who Is the Little Lad?
The person behind Little Lad is named Jack Ferver. Believed to be in their early forties, Ferver is a writer, choreographer and director. They currently reside in New York City where they teach as a professor at Bard College. (They were previously on the guest faculty at New York University.) Ferver also taught at SUNY Purchase and The Juilliard School.
Over the years, Ferver has appeared on numerous television shows, films and commercials. You might recognize the Wisconsin native from their role as Nick in the 2012 series Hunting Season.
Ferver's theatrical and writing work has been described as "darkly humorous." According to their official bio, they enjoy creating work that focuses on an "array of psychological and socio-political issues, particularly in the realms of sexual orientation, gender, and power struggles."
Whatever Happened to the Little Lad?
After Starburst's commercial faded away by the early 2010s, the love for Little Lad continued to spread in pop culture. YouTubers and producers created countless remixes and mash-ups from the original commercial, and there was even a workout course inspired by Little Lad.
Now Little Lad (a.k.a. Ferver, in character) is officially on TikTok. Their TikTok bio reads: "I love Berries and Cream. Do you want to dance with me? Mummy’s gone."
"A Mystery... The Little Lad is on TikTok under @thereallittlelad," Ferver wrote about the trending phenomenon in an Instagram post. "It's strange. After all these years. To see a character I created a hundred years ago... return..... of its own free will.... Doesn't this flower remind you of berries... berries....... and what else?"
In the last week, Little Lad has gained over 13 million views on five videos and more than 467,000 followers.
That's a lot of berries. And a lot of cream.