Pardon Me, Can You Brand As Well As Grey Poupon?

March 9, 2013

The other day I was on the Huffington Post and saw this cool, interactrive video ad that matched a commercial I had recently seen on TV.  Video in a banner ad is still fairly uncommon.  This one caught my eye and the more time I spent studying the ad, the more I realized how perfectly Grey Poupon had executed their branding ad campaign.  PPC was a small part of the massive campaign, but I loved the uniformity of their messaging across all of the advertising channels they chose.

Here is the first ad I saw.  A small clip of the video played with no sound.  I wanted to see what would happen if I clicked play.  I was surprised that the video played in the ad. I didn’t have to go anywhere. I could interact with their brand and ad without being taken somewhere else. Can you say, “Awesome.”

The video clip was entertaining enough that I chose to go “watch the whole story” (excellent call to action) at  I was also curious to “find hidden prizes” (decent value proposition) that were being offered.

The landing page screams, “REMEMBER OUR BRAND!” The first thing you see is the Grey Poupon logo, front and center.

I didn’t remember the commercial very well, but I did recognize the thumbnail and it made me want to pay more attention this time.

They went all out with the design around the video. There I was, in my home theatre, momentarily forgetting that I was just watching some business’ commercial. I was enjoying some quality entertainment.

After laughing my head off watching the video, they remind me of the hidden prizes they offered earlier. I don’t get the hidden prizes unless I watch their video again! Seems like so much to ask. Don’t these guys just want me to remember Grey Poupon?  Nope! They want me to have a memorable, fun experience with their brand. And, you know what? I wanted to watch that video again. Not just to see about the prizes, but because the video made me laugh once and I was certain it could do it again.

This time as I watched the video, I could interact. A pulsating circle beamed around certain pieces of the video that I could click on. Sure, I wanted to do it. I had never been able to click on a video before.

See? When I clicked on the “Bubbly Blaster” it showed up in the left side of the screen.  Did you notice that? They even branded the funny “Bubbly Blaster” on the video.  Now when I talk with my friends about the funny Grey Poupon commercial, I will not only easily remember their brand, but other things like the blaster will be mentioned. It adds to the conversation. I will talk more and longer about that Grey Poupon commercial.

Side note: Another good call to action to “register for a chance to win.” I personally didn’t take the time to fill out the form because I don’t want email from a mustard company, don’t care for the prizes, and now I have spent 5 minutes away from the article I was reading on Huffington Post.

At this point, I have now watched the video a second time and I am STILL involved. Will I ever forget my experience with Grey Poupon?  Nope. Will I be mad they wasted 5 minutes of my morning? WHAT?! Did you just ask me if I wasted time? If you call a break from work and a good gut laugh a waste of time you DEFINITELY woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

For the purpose of this blog post, here are the other parts of their master branding campaign:

More calls to action. Multiple ways to share what I enjoy on Social Media.

The campaign is very well integrated with Facebook and it automatically recognizes me and invites me to login with Facebook.

The form above is pretty intense.  I would suggest fewer form fields. Also, where is the logo? I would keep it somewhere on this page. Can you show it too much in a branding campaign?

Another note: When I Googled, “Grey Poupon,” they had a branded PPC ad, about the commercial. That is no longer there, but it is in almost every organic search result at this point! The paid ppc ad is still running when you do a Youtube search from Grey Poupon on Youtube as of 3/9/13.

5 key takeaways from a masterfully crafted brand campaign.

1.) Brand and message consistency across multiple/all media channels.

2.) Multiple mentions of the brand throughout the experience.

3.) Laughs and good times associated with a “boring” mustard brand make it memorable.

4.) Strong and compelling calls to action keep me interested in the brand.

5.) Branding other parts of the ad besides the main brand help you remember the main brand. Bubbly Blaster = Grey Poupon = Hillarious = Laughing with my friends and family over dinner about it.

Experience the ad and branding experience for yourself at their awesome microsite:

What other things did you learn from Grey Poupon’s campaign? Do you agree they did an excellent job? Do you think it makes people buy more of their mustard? Tell me in the comments.

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