After a marketing hiatus, Grey Poupon wanted to resurrect its brand by digging up an iconic commercial from 1981. But the company used up-to-the-minute strategy to spread the spot and brand all over via social media.
First, Grey Poupon's agency of record, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, created a 90-second, long-form commercial. It launches from the original commercial's setup of one gentleman asking another for the mustard and evolves into a mad chase involving golf club fencing and a slick of caviar. A 30-second version ran during the Oscars. The agency also created six short, "behind the making of" spoofs, posted to YouTube.
The brand extended the life of the commercial with a web-based sweepstake, and it created buzz by leaking a trailer in the week before the Oscars.
"The long form lives online, and we kicked it off with the 30-second airing of the spot. We also had an exclusive sneak peek for Society of Good Taste members on the Saturday before the Oscars," says Nadine Rich, brand manager of Grey Poupon. The Society of Good Taste is the company's "exclusive" Facebook group: Fans need to apply and be approved in order to join.
Online, navigating to GreyPoupon.com takes you directly to "The Lost Footage," the 90-second version centered in a black screen. Once you've watched it, you're asked to watch again, this time keeping an eye out for clickable hot spots. Clicking on one, for example, the gentleman's Windsor tie, lets you register to win one in a sweepstakes. (The video has more than 1.25 million views to date.)
Kontera, a company that analyzes social media conversations and content views, as well as providing services to "amplify" content, looked at data for 15 brands that advertised during the Oscars. It found that Grey Poupon outperformed all other advertisers.
Kontera's data compares online brand consumption trends during the "Oscar period trending bump," that is, the period before and after the broadcast that can be expected to increase social conversations and content consumption. It also compared overall February brand consumption to that of January. It found that Grey Poupon was the only brand to see a sustained trending increase.
During this Oscar period trending bump, Grey Poupon saw an increase of 345.32 percent in consumer interest, as reflected in Kontera's data. "Trending" is a measure of the percentage increase or decrease in the amount of consumption of digital media and social conversations.
According to Ammiel Kamon, executive vice president, marketing and mobile, at Kontera, when Grey Poupon released the teaser spot on January 18, a slow simmer of interest began. On Sunday, when the commercial aired during the Oscars, more people started to get involved. "The teaser commercial had a very strong call to action," he notes. "The TV spot also directed people to go online, and the online ramp-up started in earnest at that point."
Kamon says that a similar analysis of Super Bowl advertisements showed that brands that involved their communities before their pricey spots aired and continued to offer involvement afterward gained the most attention.
According to Kamon, the tease works but it's got to be done right. "Leave something to be discovered. It doesn't matter if it's 25 percent or 50 percent; that's the hardest thing to figure out is how much to tease," he says.
Rich says, "We were very happy with the pre-spot buzz. We wanted to gain a lot of attention and … re-establish ourselves and our place in culture with this spot."
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014