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Guest Post: Selling Fancy Mustard Is Just Like Selling an Academy Award
All you have to do is ask
**We’re back! This week is a guest post from Jason Rogers. Jason’s an Olympic Medalist and author of The Mandate Letter (subscribe here), which focuses on the intersection of culture, masculinity, and mental health.**
The post comes just in time for the Oscars. For your consideration, I present to you, a post about mustard (and other things).
First of all, congratulations on your recent promotion to CEO of Grey Poupon. I am supremely honored to have taken over your role as Chief Marketing Officer. However, I realize that I have big shoes to fill, as your contributions to the brand are the stuff of legend. It must have been a Herculean effort to oversee the overseer of the third-party agency that changed the color of our logo from Burgundy Blue to Parisian Midnight Sky.
Ok, down to business. My team has already hit the ground running in 2022. After four focus groups, six shop-along store visits, four consumer CT scans (note: the Comms dept has advised me to refer to these externally as “desire studies” for PR reasons), seven forensic psychographic profiles, and five brand vision boarding exercises, we believe that we’ve got our arms around Grey Poupon’s next major ad campaign.
The big idea: “For Your Consideration. Grey Poupon.”
We have drawn inspiration from this year’s entertainment awards season. I have accompanied a team of our brightest minds on a strategy safari out in LA, and here’s what we learned. Before the Emmy, SAG, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards, movies studios appeal directly to Hollywood insiders by issuing ads that pair their biggest entertainment titles with the phrase “For Your Consideration” and the award categories in which they hope to be nominated and eventually win.
“For Your Consideration” campaigns work on both a functional and an emotional level. Billboards bearing this verbiage remind busy film executives en route to power lunches around the city that, despite their propensity for super-hero explosion-driven action fests, they will be silently judged by their colleagues if they don’t have something intelligent to say about the breathtaking character study and panoramic beauty featured in The Power of the Dog. The ads also stroke the fragile egos of said insiders by covertly saying, Yes, Hollywood is the center of the universe, and Yes, you are so fabulously important that we’ve unfurled this costly series of ads to grovel for your vote.
So why does this approach work for us? Since our ground-breaking “Pardon Me” campaign, we have made Grey Poupon lovers feel like insiders by underscoring the exclusive and aspirational nature of our brand. I cannot think of a better way to continue this tradition than this ground-breaking campaign delivered in partnership with a new brand ambassador such as the recently nominated Nicole Kidman or Jessica Chastain. (Note: We have reached out repeatedly to both of their agents, and neither has returned our calls. However, I’m told by our consultants that this is a negotiating tactic, and I think we can expect that there is significant interest on their end).
I should also point out that this creative approach also solves two long-standing marketing problems endemic to product categories such as ours. Contrary to popular belief in our industry, consumers are sick and tired of being told what to buy. They are increasingly suspicious of brands that claim superiority with little to no proof. Adding “For Your Consideration” allows us to circumvent both of these psychic defenses by couching our well-mannered assertions in our consumers’ sophistication, discernment, and taste. Is Grey Poupon the best dijon mustard in the land? Well, that is up to you.
I firmly believe this campaign is the way forward and, dare I say, award-worthy. But I’m always happy to ideate with you further. Let me know your thoughts.
Chief Marketing Officer, Grey Poupon
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In addition to The Mandate Letter, Jason also freelances. Check out one of my favorite pieces of his from Men’s Health where he joined a river rafting trip for male, ex-pro athletes to delve into masculinity and spirituality.
P.S. Thanks for sticking with me. More to come in this space soon. 😘