Back in 1981, two Rolls Royce’s pulled along side each other. The man in one back seat rolled down his window and asked the man in the other car a question. “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” And an advertising legend was born.
It became one of the most popular ad questions of the ’80s, after “Where’s the beef?” and “Is it the shoes?” And Kraft Foods rode that snobby mustard goldmine for another 16 years. But in 2013, the whole Randolph and Mortimer Duke image just isn’t what’s hot in modern mustard culture. It’s less double-breasted pin stripe suits, more urban lumberjack, Brooklyn artisan vibe. And maybe a beard. According to Reuters, Grey Poupon’s sales have been flat in recent years as it lost market share to an increasingly crowded condiment shelf.
And so, amid the pomp and celebrity circumstance of Sunday’s Oscars, Grey Poupon will unveil “The Lost Footage” from that legendary commercial, which chronicles what happens after the fateful mustard exchange between to rich white dudes in fancy cars. Oh but this was just a sneak peek. Created by MDC Partners agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the spot will encourage viewers to check out GreyPouponChase.com for what I can only assume will be more Die Hard-meets-Dijon action.
Tapping into brand history to light a spark in sales is a delicate dance. You want to look like a brand with a sense of humour and the confidence to wink-wink at consumers over a throwback joke. As opposed to, say, a desperate hack grasping at the final straws of cultural and consumer relevance. Kraft gets this and Crispin is creating some buzz by adding a new twist to an old idea. But it doesn’t work for everyone. Dell, I’m looking at you. Do not bring back the Dell Dude. Just don’t.