By Ryan M. Bilak
Grey Poupon is currently running an Internet marketing campaign that actually will actually deny some Facebook users from liking their page. When you come upon the Grey Poupon Facebook page you must apply for membership through an application called The Society of Good Taste. The application scans through your Facebook profile to learn more about your interests, friends, and writing style, from this analysis the application automatically grades you and determines whether or not you meet the standards to become a fan of Grey Poupon.
This Facebook campaign definitely has an interesting way to try and get people to spread the word about Grey Poupon, but how does this affect the overall identity of the company?
When you are not accepted to be a member of the Good Taste Society it is because of your identity you have created on your Facebook profile and it is recommended that you go back and refine your page and reapply. Why am I not classy enough to be included in this elite group of high-end mustard consumers? This moves the applicant to start thinking about his or her own online identity.
This fan application process is crafting a unique identity for Grey Poupon in a world of businesses whose Facebook pages look the same and are desperate for new fans. Parts of Harraway’s “Cyborg Theory” can be seen in Grey Poupon’s Facebook activities. For instance, Grey Poupon is constructing the way it wants to be viewed that is historically relevant to the identity of the Grey Poupon brand. The advancement of technology has actually allowed this company to try and reclaim the notoriety it once had, to reemerge and solidify its identity once more. Within this Facebook application we are seeing a union of the Grey Poupon of the 1980’s, with its famous commercial, and the Grey Poupon Facebook Page, still emphasizing that its consumers are being held to a higher standard. The identities online and offline identities of Grey Poupon work together seamlessly and create one overlaying identity that has emerged as a result of using new technology such as this Facebook page application. Grey Poupon made a smart move when they decided to take their campaign to Facebook, they did a fantastic job of trying to engage younger viewers who may not have been around or remember their old commercials. This campaign has also allowed the company to construct an identity that they want, rather than accept an identity that the masses create for them. There of course was some blow back from Facebook users who were denied membership:
“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%.”
However, this identity works for them; from the old TV ad to the new Facebook campaign we are seeing a brand that has consistently held their classy identity through all mediums. Leaving me thinking, “this must be some good mustard.”