Are You Classy Enough For Grey Poupon? But of Course
Most companies want everyone on Facebook to "Like" them. Grey Poupon isn't sure it "Likes" you.
The mustard company, owned by Kraft , hasn't done mass marketing since ending the very successful "Pardon Me" campaign 15 years ago. Those commercials were so iconic they were parodied in “Wayne’s World.”
Now, in a clever marketing twist, Grey Poupon is back with a new campaign and a Facebook app called "The Society of Good Taste."
If you log on to Facebook and launch the app, a group of 18th century "judges" pours over your profile to determine if your tastes are sufficiently classy.
You might not cut the mustard.
Several people who tried to get into the society on Facebook didn’t make it. Rejected by Grey Poupon! Pardon me, indeed.
What are the admission standards for the Society of Good Taste?
"The algorithm will search and judge users' profiles based on their proper use of grammar, art taste, restaurant-check ins, books read and movie selections to name a few," said the press release from Kraft. "If the algorithm detects poor taste in music or TXT speak, for example, they could be rejected for membership." Rejected applicants can try again if they "refine their profile."
What constitutes poor taste in music? As for TXT, I'm suddenly glad I long ago banned the use of emoticons and "LOL". To me, people who write LOL are never 1) laughing, or 2) out loud.
Those who are accepted into the Society of Good Taste can win gifts, but they also face a dress code. "We recommend gentlemen wear jackets and ties," the acceptance page reads. "Ladies are encouraged to wear cocktail attire and ample gems."
Grey Poupon is also building its website on Pinterest. (Read More: Why Pine for the Pinterest Consumer? They're Worth More.)
The New York Times reports that the mustard company has 12.6 percent market share, number two behind French's, and it is seeing a drop in demand from younger consumers. Rebranding itself may be necessary. While overall mustard sales rose 11 percent from 2007 to 2012, "the market is also saturated."
As for using Facebook, well, despite all the hoopla over Facebook's stock performance, the ad agency hired for the Grey Poupon campaign believes in the social website. (Read More: Silicon Valley Isn't Sharing Facebook's Misery.)
"We're taking a mass platform in Facebook that most people use every day and turning it on its head with an element of exclusivity to differentiate the Grey Poupon brand," said Tom Markham of Crispin Porter and Bogusky.
So after reading all this, the moment of truth came. I needed to apply to The Society of Good Taste. Would I be accepted? Suddenly I cared!
I logged on with trepidation, and watched as the judges scanned through awkward photos of my dogs, commented with confusion over some of my “accidental” Facebook postings (aka "butt dialing"), and assessed my educational background. It was not looking good. However, I WAS ACCEPTED! But of course!!
According to Grey Poupon, I'm in the 94th percentile of good taste! This will surely come as a surprise to my friends and family on Facebook, those poor souls who put up with all kind of inappropriate ramblings from yours truly. Grey Poupon’s algorithm clearly needs work, but please don’t tell anyone. I’m busy shopping for cocktail attire and ample gems.
—By CNBC's Jane Wells
Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email firstname.lastname@example.org