In what could be perhaps the snobbiest Facebook group – and a smart marketing campaign – mustard company Grey Poupon has launched a web page that screens members based on their ‘good taste’ with the aim of capturing a digital youth market that may be unfamiliar with the brand.
After a 15-year hiatus from mass advertising, the mustard company has launched a digital campaign called "The Society of Good Taste," in which only ‘classy’ members are admitted.
After someone ‘likes’ the Facebook page, an algorithm searches the applicant’s profile and passes judgment based on proper use of grammar, taste in art, restaurant check-ins, books and movie selections.
Should the algorithm detect poor taste in music or an abominable level of grammar, the applicant is rejected for membership -- the ‘like’ deleted -- and invited to reapply after refining their profile.
As the user is judged by a panel of posh, cartoon Brits, amusing exclamations of “Charmingly photogenic,” “Here, here,” “Capital,” and “How gregarious” pepper the screening before the verdict is made.
It’s a bold comeback for the 235-year-old mustard brand which is part of the Kraft Foods portfolio and best known for its deliberately pompous and pretentious 1980s TV campaign "Pardon Me," in which ostentatious businessmen swap jars of Grey Poupon from their chauffeured cars.
But after a long absence, the new digital campaign is being launched to capture a younger consumer market which may have grown up without the iconic TV commercial.
Launched this month, the Facebook page The Society of Good Taste, in which many apply but “few cut the mustard,” has attracted 32,540 fans as of September 17. But more impressive is the fact that it's also spurred broad user engagement, with nearly half -- 14,585 fans -- talking about the campaign and the mustard.
And while some applaud the social media campaign for promoting user engagement, others are taking personal offense to the digital strategy which, it seems, delivers rather piquant rejection letters.
“Not only did Grey Poupon reject me for membership in its 'Society of Good Taste' on its Facebook page, it then insulted me on my own timeline calling me 'banal,'" complained one user. “…Funny way to talk to an existing customer....who suddenly has decided to switch to Maille and never buy Grey Poupon again, not to mention post this. Companies that lose sight of their business objectives in the race to be cute on social media = #fail #officialmustardofthe1%.”