Tag Archives: age

Cutting The Mustard With The Grey Poupon Facebook Society Of Good Taste

I should have seen it coming. The buzz of ‘Downton Abbey.’ The 76-page Ralph Lauren catalog that arrived last week – Ralph looking most un-cowboy-ish behind the wheel of an Aston Martin, British flag on the door, RL girls posed, now on raked gravel courtyards in impeccable tweeds, now on horseback in black velvet evening dress, the fine saddle leather a dreamy contrast and rhinestone collar providing a certain edge. Restoration Hardware’s tome also arrived, reeking of Manor–upstairs and down, plus adjacent stables.

Then Elizabeth Olson of The New York Times reported that Grey Poupon’s Facebook-based “Society of Good Taste” was about to go exclusive.

“Starting Wednesday, in a new advertising campaign on Facebook, would-be fans can have their profiles checked to see whether their proper use of grammar, taste in art, restaurant check-ins, books read and movies selected combine for a score high enough to merit membership in the Grey Poupon ‘Society of Good Taste.’”

Can Grey Poupon make marketing history by rejecting Facebook fans?From Rolls to DijonGate ’08 to Miracle Whip.

Who of a certain age does not remember the “Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?” of the original early 1980s television commercial? Or appreciated the later version:  in one Rolls, Ian Richardson, evil Tory politician Francis Urquhart in “House of Cards,” in another “Yes, Prime Minister” actor Paul Eddington in need of mustard. Convincing Americans that a plastic squeeze bottle of Grey Poupon is A-OK was oh so easy: Is that Grey Poupon on your weiner?

A 2004 New Yorker piece (“The Ketchup Conundrum”) tells the great story of how these commercials and print ads created by Lowe Marschalk convinced Americans to switch from bright yellow French’s to the real French Grey Poupon.  Actually, it was by then made in Connecticut with New York State wine, and there was no proof that anyone in the U.K. actually used it to spice up anything whatsoever, but who cared? “By the end of the nineteen-eighties Grey Poupon was the most powerful brand in mustard,” ends the mustard section of the piece, which goes on to tell a sad tale in which one poor bloke seeks and fails to find the Holy Grail – the Grey Poupon of ketchup.

And who can forget DijonGate of 2008, in which then-candidate Barack Obama ordered a burger, politely requesting mustard, and very specifically for “a spicy mustard or something like that, or a Dijon mustard, something like that.” A Grey Poupon fan, I purchased an extra jar as the hay was made with that!

Miracle Whip and Grey Poupon are both Kraft brandsSo the news that this particular mustard brand was emerging from its low profile in the marketing world to defend its market share (a second-place 12.6 percent in a saturated market of mostly oldsters) by rejecting wannabe Facebook fans was intriguing. Adding spice to the news, sister brand Kraft Miracle Whip recently engaged in risky behavior on Twitter and has current TV commercials featuring a dark and tortured village square scene remixing Hawthorn’s The Scarlet Letter (the new red MW replacing the “A”) with a generic Salem witch hunt.

Others were intrigued and jumped on the story. In all the coverage, only the Whopper Sacrifice campaign, also created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the creators of the new Grey Poupon Facebook campaign, is called out as something remotely similar. That campaign challenged fans to dump their Facebook friends for the Whopper.  They did, although Facebook put a swift end to the fun.

The Baroness of Banality. Are You Talk’n to Me?

Confident in both my grammar and my good taste in condiments, I decided to sample the  experience that Grey Poupon was serving up. One week after the campaign began (with an existing fanbase of about 22,000 according to reports), I “Liked” The Society of Good Taste and the application process began.

A charming app, in which I was seated behind a group of judges viewing a screen, scoured my Facebook page. Everything whizzes by – photos were commented on too quickly to take notes, but the judges did seem to like one photo of our chocolate Lab on his surfboard. Fiery political links and comments from like-minded friends appeared as well. A sour observation that I should get “out and about” more often gave me pause, but then it was over.

The Grey Poupon Society of Good Taste Rejects Facebook Fans“The Baron of Banality” (to which I snapped, Baroness to you!) headed the statement: “You’re in the 33rd PERCENTILE” (no period, a word in all caps) above a paragraph, written in faux-Euro/Brit, inviting reapplication after a finishing school course or visit to a museum or “online literary hub.”  (I take my Trotsky solo, thanks).

Stunned. What was it? Why had I failed this test?

“LOL” is reportedly frowned on, and I’ve used that twice. OK, two of three restaurant check-ins were to an establishment known as Liar’s Saloon, but surely… No, it was true.

The Baron of Banality notice and all the gory details had been auto-posted to my Facebook page – and had already been “liked” by one of my exclusive group of 53 friends.

Retaliation (Engagement?) and The Return for More Abuse

I swear it was only to grab a screenshot of the judges oohing at the chocolate Lab on the surfboard that made me decide to reapply the very next day.

Long story short, as soon as the app started, my new computer froze.  I let out a few choice words and waited. Ten seconds later, an acceptance letter — my PERCENTILE had jumped to 68!  How had this happened?

I’ll admit to two things that may have convinced the judges. Immediately after being rejected, I – for the first time mind you – engaged on Facebook with a brand. No way was The Mustard getting away scot free. Not when a large jar of Grey Poupon had been laid in just last week. So, as can be seen above, I had responded to the notice posted by The Society with a comment: I’m All Shook Up! and threw in a video of Elvis singing the same to a crowd of screaming girls for good measure.

And, to demonstrate my good taste, I had also shared a lovely photo of a mountain with my Facebook friends, adding the elegant comment “Oh to be there.” This was heart felt — it is my favorite Colorado mountain — so I felt no shame. A friend’s unsolicited “It’s beautiful” reply doubled the impact.

Other than that, my post-rejection Facebook activity quickly returned to normal as I forgot myself and used “dag rat it” once, and “wing nut” appeared in a reply comment. Another friend’s “Pray that this lead holds until the election” may have been what really clinched membership in The Society on second try.

Critique, Questions and Predictions

(1)   The app itself is fun and well done. My only gripe is that now I’m a member and can’t go back for that screen shot of the judges critiquing my Labrador on his surfboard.

(2)   Will rejected fans return that unopened jar of Dijon?  Or take their rejections in good humour as they reach for the gold?

(3)   The whole point of this campaign is to get young people engaged with America’s faux-French mustard via a centuries-old, secret love affair with all things British. The original wildly successful appeal made advertising history. This Facebook campaign will not live up to the same standards of class. The Rolls are gone. The Prime Minister is gone. Some of the judges (we see only their silhouetted backs) could be the butler and the chambermaid from the shape of the hats. Further, the very first “perk” — already on its way — is a tote bag.

(4)   Something’s up with that algorithm. From the gutter of 33rd percentile to 68 with just a couple of new posts? Hmmm.

A would-be member of the The Grey Poupon "Society of Good Taste" on Facebook(5)   It’s all in good fun. According to reports, The Society of Good Taste started out last Wednesday with an existing fanbase of 22,000 (where they came from we do not know). Today, my fellow Society members number 35,057 (up from 34,810 yesterday). And I’m truly interested to find out whether a certain Peter Holländer will ever be admitted. Yesterday, he politely posted: I LOVE your mustard on a well done McRib, so would you please let me in?

Your turn – and let us know: Do you cut the mustard?

Why Do 66% of U.S. Adults Online Use Social Media?

Social media platforms are used by 66% of the U.S. online adult population.  Of those adults, nearly two-thirds say that staying in touch with friends and family is a “major reason” for using these platforms, according to new data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Half of them list reconnecting with old friends as a major reason to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media networks.

What are the other reasons for adopting social media tools?

  • 14% use social media to connect with others around a shared hobby or interest
  • 9% use these sites to make new friends
  • 5% said reading comments by public figures was a major reason for using social media
  • just 3% cited finding potential romantic partners as their main reason for using social networks

The social media users that list family and friend connections as a major reason to use social networks are widely varied in terms of age, income, education, race/ethnicity, parental status and place of residence.  However, there is a strong gender gap in this category: women (72%) are significantly more likely than men (55%) to list family connections as the major reason to use social tools. Women (70%) are also more likely than men (63%) to list staying in touch with current friends as a major reason for using social tools.

 Why Americans Use Social Media | Pew Internet & American Life Project

Age was a noted factor for those who listed connecting with others who share a hobby or interest as a major reason for using social media.  While this only applied to 14% overall, older users were more likely to be in this category with 16% of 30-49 year olds and 18% of 50-64 year olds.  The number of social media users who listed connecting with others via hobby/interest dropped to 10% in the 18-29 year old age bracket.

Additionally, men are a bit more likely than women to use these sites to connect around a hobby or interest—56% of male users say that this is either a major or minor reason for their usage of these sites, compared with 44% of female users.

Parenthood has an effect on the reasons behind social media use as well; parents are more likely than non-parents to list connecting with old friends is a major reason behind their use of these sites (56% vs. 47%).

While only 9% overall listed making completely new friends as a major reason to use social networking sites, men (12%), African Americans (15%), those who haven’t attended college (16%), and those with annual income of under $30,000 (18%) were more likely to do so.

Racial demographics came into play regarding social media users who were interested in reading comments by public figures including politicians, celebrities and athletes.  While this was unimportant to 74% of social media users, 10% of African Americans and 11% of Latinos listed it as a major reason to use social networks, vs. only 3% of white users.  Twitter users are more likely to list this as a major (11%) or minor reason (30%) to use social networks, while among non-Twitter users reading comments by public figures was a major reason for only 4%, and a minor reason for just 11%.

Where would interacting with brands have placed in these results?  While it probably would not be listed as a major reason for many, would brand interaction be a minor reason for using social networks for a significant percentage of social media users, especially those looking for discounts and deals online?

The results are based on a national survey of 2,277 adults conducted April 26-May 22, 2011. Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish.  Read the full report here.

44% of Social Media Users Prefer to Interact With Acquaintances Online vs. In Person

Harris Interactive has released the results of a new U.S. online poll conducted between September 1 and 3, 2010 among 2,258 adults (aged 18 and over), which focused on the changing nature of online and real-life social relationships.

According to the poll, 87% of online Americans use social media.  Of those, 44% say that, in general, they prefer to interact with acquaintances using social media rather than face-to-face;   Continue reading

42% of U.S. Adults Age 50 and Older Now Use Social Networks

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has release a new report that shows remarkable growth in social networking use among older U.S. adults.  The report is primarily based on data from telephone interviews  April 29 and May 30, 2010, among a sample of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older.

According to the report, social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010.  Among internet users ages 50-64, social networking use grew by 88%–from 25% to 47%.  During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%–from 13% to 26%.  By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by 13%—from 76% to 86%.

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Addictive or Useful? 43% of Social Networkers Visit Multiple Times Per Day

A new report by Experian Simmons documents the incredible growth of social networking in the US.  66% of online Americans use social networking sites today, up from just 20% in 2007.  43% of those who access such sites report that they visit them multiple times per day – this number is up by 28% from last year. In light of this data, Experian labels social networking as “an increasingly addictive activity”  yet goes on to detail how users are connecting with friends, family, and brands through these sites.  Are users increasing their visits to social networks out of ‘addiction’ or simply because they are useful ways to connect with others and to show preferences to those within one’s network?  Steve Rubel at Edelman Digital entitled his coverage of the report “43% of Online Americans Addicted to Social Networking” and also emphasized the rapid increase in both the number of social network users and the frequency of site visits per user.   Continue reading

Heavy Social & Mobile Media Users Spend More Time with Overall Media

Findings of new research released June 3rd by Knowledge Networks, through their MultiMedia Mentor service, indicate that heavy users of social or mobile media spend dramatically more time with overall media, and are more likely to use TV and the Internet simultaneously, as reported by MediaPost.

The study concluded that the impact of social and mobile media was most pronounced among older adults (people age 35 to 64) and while this impact could also be seen among younger adults (age 18 to 34) it was not as pronounced.  Older adults who use social and mobile media spent a much greater amount of time per day  (2 hours 20 min for social users, 2 hours 55 min for mobile users) using overall media than the general population. Continue reading

34% of Adults Using Social Media Choose To Sound Off About Brands

A new poll conducted in April 2010 by Harris Poll details the use of social media as a way for users to express their opinions about brands, companies, and products.

Overall, the poll of 2,131 U.S. adults revealed that 34% have turned to social media “as an outlet to rant or rave about a company, brand or product.”  Within this group, a subset equal to 26% of the total said they complained about companies, brands or products, 23% said they spoke positively about them, and 19% gave product reviews or recommendations, as reported on MediaPost.

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50% of U.S. Women are Fans or Followers of Grocery, Health/Beauty, Household Product Brands or Stores

iVillage and SheSpeaks have released a joint an report, “Women and the Digital Path to Purchase, based on an online survey of random sample of women from the SheSpeaks panel, fielded in March 31-April 2, 2010, in which 1,581 U.S. women participated.  The research studied the impact of different digital marketing tactics on women’s in-store purchase behavior.

Facebook was the most-visited web site among respondents, with 81% saying that they had visited Facebook  in the past month.

The researchers found that 50% of women are fans or followers of grocery, health/beauty or household product brands and the stores that carry them. They are more likely to follow brands than retailers: 36% follow a food/beverage brand, 32% follow a health/beauty brand and 25% follow a household product brand, compared with 19% who follow a superstore via social media.

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48% of Americans Are Members of At Least One Social Network

48% of Americans age 12 and older are now members of at least one social network, according to a new national survey from Arbitron and Edison Research, up from 24% two years ago.  From late January, Arbitron conducted telephone interviews with 1,753 persons to investigate Americans’ use of digital platforms and new media.  The company found that 78% of  teens, 77% of 18- to- 24-year-olds, 65% of  those 25 to 34, and 51% of those 35 to 44 have personal profile pages. Continue reading