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How To Win At Social Media, Act 3: The Society of Good Taste


This article is an instalment of a three-part series. Catch up on our previous discussion here.

Ever heard of Grey Poupon? No? It’s probably because you’re a despicable philistine that can’t tell the difference between a sonnet and a pantoum.

Without standing too close, let us tell you a story of the finest Dijon mustard to ever waltz across our palates and how they earned their laurels on social media.

With a rich history that begins in 1866 in Dijon, France, this exquisite wholegrain mustard shot to prominence in the 1980s when they positioned themselves as “one of life’s finer pleasures” in an over-the-top commercial featuring blue-blooded highbrows exchanging bottles of Grey Poupon in their Rolls Royce cars.

With their tongue-in-cheek tone and manner, the quality condiment was able to spur conversation and parodies that garnered them brand equity throughout the early 90s. But come the new millennium, with millenials in front of their iPads chatting away on Facebook, Grey Poupon found themselves in a whole new ballgame.

How was Grey Poupon going to reignite conversation and stand out in an oversaturated digital world while still staying true to their brand positioning?

Enter ‘The Society of Good Taste’.

Loyal to their brand of snobbery, Grey Poupon launched their social-media presence that allowed only selected users to ‘Like’ their Facebook page. Using an algorithm to scrutinize your profile based on a number of criteria, it measured things like the number of friends you have, whether you employ the proper use of grammar, or whether you listen to the right music or read the right books.

And if you didn’t have impeccable taste, as a patron of Grey Poupon should, then your application would be rescinded and a message in your inbox would read “We are sorry, but your taste, like fine estate silver, could use a good polish,” and would continue to request that you read and watch certain things before you reapply.

This, of course, caused uproar – just as planned.

Users started bending over backwards to ensure their profiles were fit to become a member of ‘The Society of Good Taste’. Reverse psychology has never been used more creatively.

As a conversation starter, Grey Poupon succeeded tremendously, getting more than 50% engagement on social media. They have since garnered over 60,000 LIKES and although this is miniscule compared to their competitors, it has also won free media with the coverage it received, from TIME magazine to the New York Daily and many more.

If we can take anything from this campaign, it is that staying true to your brand positioning, especially if it is unique, can go a long way. From being virtually unknown to the younger audience to becoming the topic of discussion at the time of launch is a feat that warrants our applause.

So if you have sparked an intriguing discussion, it is imperative that you keep the conversation going.

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