How Grey Poupon Recut the Mustard

CP+B fits old ad that wouldn't die into the brand's new revival

IDEA: Pardon me, are you a brand whose only real equity comes from a campy TV spot made 30 years ago that's been parodied to death in pop culture? Grey Poupon, of course, is exactly that brand. And that 1981 "Pardon Me" ad loomed large over Crispin Porter + Bogusky as it began rebuilding the Kraft Foods brand after 15 moribund years. "That was the first thing everybody was saying. When are you going to do 'Pardon Me'?" said CP+B creative director Robin Fitzgerald. "Of course, that was the first thing we loved about the brand, too." The agency came up with the umbrella idea that Grey Poupon was back to "Spread good taste" in a culture that had grown vulgar in its absence. After an initial Facebook effort (the Web being the biggest culprit of bad taste), agency and client looked to TV. "They asked for a Super Bowl spot," said Fitzgerald. "We figured, the Oscars are their Super Bowl. It's the classiest night." They knew they had to do something with "Pardon Me." But what?