Give credit where it’s due: it takes clever marketing to morph the mundane act of clicking “like” on a Facebook page into a test of one’s sophistication. Grey Poupon, the famously upscale mustard brand, decided that the best way to get people talking about its social-media presence was to allow only selected users to “Like” its Facebook page by joining the Grey Poupon Good Taste Society.
“This society is a private club committed to upholding the pillars of good taste set by our mustard. Only applicants with the most discerning palates will be admitted. Those whose applications are denied will have their LIKE rescinded,” reads the Good Taste Society’s application card.
“We want to differentiate the brand and reinforce that when it comes to Dijon mustard that Grey Poupon is the leader in ‘taste,’” said Kraft Foods director of shopper marketing, Sara Braun, to The New York Times. Essentially, you can’t “Like” Grey Poupon unless it likes you back. And at least on the first try, this NewsFeed writer didn’t cut the mustard.
“We are sorry, but your taste, like fine estate silver, could use a good polish,” read the denial. Further, it linked to a few clichéd highbrow things that should be read (Charles Dickens Great Expectations), watched (PBS’s Masterpiece), listened to (Pandora’s Mozart channel) and eaten (Filet Mignon with, of course, Grey Poupon sauce) before it would reassess an application.
The Good Taste Society allegedly judges applicants on a number of criteria, measuring the number of Facebook friends you have, the “Place de Residence” listed, how many “like’s” you’ve received if you’ve created a company page, what “curiousities and tastes” you have, and other categories (Ad Week reports that the algorithm somehow takes into account a profile’s “proper use of grammar”).
Rather than spend all that time reading up to pass the Grey Poupon test (and it should probably be noted that all I had to do was reapply a second time to pass muster), it was tempting to friend French’s mustard instead. While it may come in distressingly common yellow bottle, French’s currently has 33,000 Facebook likes compared with Grey Poupon’s 20,000. Sometimes, exclusivity has its price.