The absolute WORST brand page on Facebook

Posted by David Zaleski on February 8th, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Ever wonder what the worst brand page on Facebook looks like? Well, I found it, and I don't even know where to begin.

Wait, yes I do.

If you're looking for an example of how not to create a page for your brand, look no further than:

Yes, that's right. Grey Poupon Mustard.

This Facebook page makes me so mad I can't even believe I'm getting this emotional about a condiment. I don't know how this perfectly good product ended up with a Facebook page that is run like a poorly written episode of "Dukes of Hazard" mixed with the cast of "Downton Abby."

First, I'd like to say that I grew up with Grey Poupon. I loves me that stuffs. It's a fine mustard and compliments the ordinary turkey or ham sandwich very well, especially on a bright sunny day when having a picnic in the park with your honey, (girlfriend or wife, although depending on how much you like Kraft they make a honey too).

I grew up with the perception that this was a high-class product. Sophisticated, elegant, and refined. It spreads very easily on any slice of bread, accenting it's smooth texture and highlighting it's topnotch quality.

So, when I went to their website, everything fit perfectly.

Ah, the simple refinement of Grey Poupon. Classy. Stylish. Delicious.

Now, here's the kickin' good time you get when you click on their Facebook page:

Here's why this makes me mad.

I'm going to ignore the whole "Apply to be a member" stuff because there's just too much to chew on there. I'm writing this on an airplane, and if I get too worked up I might open the the exit door and let myself be sucked out. My last words would be, Pouponnnn...

What does bother me is that a mustard company called "Grey Poupon" decided to throw in a fart joke right in their cover picture.

Say the words "Grey Poupon" slowly to yourself. Yeah. I don't think this is a product that should be dabbling in fart humor. When I first came to this page and read that, it made me want to Poupon my computer.

OK, maybe they were going for the other meaning of "cut the mustard," but growing up, this was always a fart thing.

Nothing bothers me more than a brand that tries to be funny and fails. You'll also notice that they pulled out the fancy font for their lettering. Obama-esque typeface for the title, cheesy gold borders on the edges, and only the finest italics for the Times New Roman tagline.

Check out those gold frames on the pictures too.

Wow. To quote "The Social Network," "I need a second to let the classiness waft over me." Wait! Stop! I can't think about wafting right now. I'm too grossed out!

Let's move on to some posts.

First, they've decided to give their members, fans, whatevers some recipes to work the product into. Not uncommon for food brands. Let's see how they go about it:

Right away I can smell the Polident on the 63 year-old guy they got to manage this page. Who says, "Select LIKE" on Facebook? Dude, it's just "Like." Just ask them to like it. Or better yet, don't. How about letting your members, fans, whatevers decide what they like on your page. I tried to find the LIKE button, but all I could find was the Like button. I'm lost.

The second thing is that whole sentence and the way it's worded. Hey gramps, let me introduce you to a friend of mine.

It's called a comma. Use it. It's your friend. Especially when breaking up a sentence that uses the word "bowl" twice - two words apart -with two different meanings.

To top it all off, my subconscious is treated to a picture of the finished meal that must have been taken by a first generation LG camera phone.

The fact that this page has 58,672 members, fans, whatevers and this post has only 20 likes, makes me personally depressed.

But I don't mean to Poupon.

Hey look, here's another one:

First of all, Dijon is city in France. And "passes through suitors"? What are your fans, ghosts? As far as I can tell, this post is asking me if I walk through French cities like a spirit frightening good looking single men.

And again, the "like" ratio on this post makes me want to push the call button for a flight attendant and complain.

Let's move on and take a look at their info page.

Wow. Look at all those links to where we can find more information about the product and other related Kraft food brands. This whole thing comes off as a passive-aggressive soliloquy to combat internet trolls. Also notice how they break character in this section, going from this:

To... this..

I'm not an actor, but if you're going to create a fan page completely centered around an annoying highfalutin persona, at least be consistent.

In Grey Poupon's defense, (a sentence I have to force out of me), their fans/members are no prize either. Let's meet a few:

Alright, we get it. It's a snowbank. Jeez. This reminds me of a certain movie I once saw.

The people on this page buy into this weird world created by Grey Poupon. Here's another one:

Um... OK.

Look, I think it's fine that they've created a community where people come here and role play. There are many places on the internet that do that. It's just that those places have nothing to do with food. Well, some do.

Let's compare Grey Poupon to another mustard brand with a Facebook page, French's Mustard.

Family. Wholesome moments. Love. Community. That's what food should be about. Meals are a way for us to come together and enjoy each other's company. It's about warm moments like this:

Not this:

It's more about this:

And less about this:

More about this:

And not so much about this:

When you create a brand image centered around exclusivity, you inevitably exclude people. That's not what a food is about. It's about coming together. Whether you're a mustard, ketchup, or a brand of ground beef, food is love. We eat with people we love. We don't ask them for their membership card.

I leave you now with some fine advice from a fantastic product, which in my opinion should rethink its Facebook strategy.

16 Responses to “The absolute WORST brand page on Facebook”

  1. Kate says:

    You know what it must have been really fun for you to sit on your flight with nothing else to do but shit all over Grey Poupon's Facebook page. You're such an "expert", it must make you feel awesome to flex your "expert" muscles and get on your soap box and and point out everything that's wrong with this page. It must make you feel awesome to spend so much of your time crapping on something that clearly has taken a decent amount of work by someone else. You know what I like about Grey Poupon's page, actually two things. I like that it's different from everyone else's and I also like that it's not yours!

  2. Barry says:

    This is absolutely NOT the worst brand page on Facebook! In fact, it's better than most!

    THIS is the worst ever page on FB:

    And okay my example isn't a brand page as such... but from a fan's perspective I know which page I'd rather engage with! A page that looks good and posts relevant articles regularly is better than a dead un-managed page full stop.

    I will agree that Grey Poupon could MASSIVELY improve their page and engagement but good for them for doing it their way.

    Sorry buddy - you've got it wrong this time!


  3. Spencer says:

    So, your expert opinion is that they should have more stock-style photos of families? Their brand has always been about a quirky tone. This article just smacks of a complete lack of history and borders on a lack of understanding about consistent branding. Grey Poupon is not French's and has never tried to be (nor has French's ever had one of its commercial slogans become part of pop culture). I expected a bit more context and analysis from the team at iMedia.

  4. jill says:

    Sorry, David, but "cut the mustard" is not a fart reference. I believe that you are thinking of "cut the cheese" - which is something I would not necessarily want to read on a kraft site. But, because you led with that main point, I found the rest of your post nit-picky and not worthy of discussion. Sorry.

  5. Greg says:

    I agree with all the comments so far. You're way off on this one. It's not the worst page at all. Do you not remember their famous commercial? It was something different than everyone else. Just like this page. They are having fun with their brand. And using the old timey talk is working great for them. They are getting likes and fans are interacting with their page.

    I did not get the fart joke reference in the cover photo and I'm all about toilet humour.

    And I like the membership idea a lot. Grey poupon is seen as an expensive brand and something that only the rich eat. Rich people have memberships at various clubs and organizations. This is just another one of those. And it's free. Additionally, not everyone likes Dijon, so you're in a exclusive club. It's nice to be a part if something like that. You make your customers feel like they are a part of something special.

    I do however agree with your comment on letting the fans choose what they like and not telling them to like a post.

    I should audit the imedia Facebook page.

  6. Faye Oney says:

    This is the absolute worst post on iMedia Connection. I can't even begin to count the typos and misuses of grammar. I'm surprised it made it past a copy editor.

    You obviously don't understand the term, "cutting the mustard." It has nothing to do with passing gas. Comparing Grey Poupon to French's is like comparing apples to oranges. They have a completely different target audience. And they are apparently getting engagement, which is what the social networks are all about.

  7. Sharon says:

    While critiquing pages can provide valuable lessons, it is often of greater value to begin at home. Check your own grammar and spelling. This article is laced with inexcusable grade-school errors, more than most iMedia articles. (I have, sadly, come to expect poor grammar and spelling on this site, perhaps an unintended consequence of twittering away the whole day.) As another poster pointed out, "cutting the mustard," means meeting expectations, making the grade, succeeding.

  8. Isa U says:

    Yes, indeed. I do believe you are confusing "Cutting the Mustard" with "Cutting the CHEESE". The countless number of spelling and grammatical errors on this post made me shake my head in the "No" formation repeatedly. While you have the right to your own opinion, I truly beg to differ. Pardon me, while I bust out in laughter of the audible variety, good sir!

  9. David Zaleski says:

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. In terms of the grammar and punctuation in this post, I published this blog without asking for another editor's hand in proofreading. I’m sorry if you were offended by the grammatical mistakes, I don't mean to reflect poorly on iMedia’s overall editorial standards

  10. Jack says:

    Oh dear god this is an awful post. Cut the mustard isn't a fart joke - cut the cheese would be but not mustard. It means to succeed http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/cut-the-mustard.html - something you haven't with this post.

    Also Dijon is a type of mustard.

    Oh god I could go on for ever...

    Next time you take a flight please watch the films or have a sleep. But for the love of all that's holy don't blog. Ever.

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