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Can The ‘Royal’ Ad Wheel Be Reinvented?
By: Briskman Stanfield
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Pardon me, would you have any (Grey Poupon) idea how long this ridiculous catchphrase can keep on keeping on?? Inexplicably, certain slogans become cultural phenomena.

One successful example involved the long-ago collaboration of Grey Poupon and Rolls-Royce. For 30 years, Rolls-Royce has been trying to shed the spread.

Unbelievably, the "chauffeured, stodgy, old men" ad from 1984 carries an influence in the public eye to this very day! While this is good news for Kraft's Grey Poupon, Eric Shepherd, president of Rolls-Royce North America, perceives it as a curse.

The power of "entitlement and old money" reek of an image no longer desired, especially since BMW bought the company in 2003. Mr. Shepherd strongly believes the ad has done more damage than good for Rolls Royce.

NOW WANTED: The relevant customer. In order to attract this genre, Rolls-Royce has retargeted the marketing to the uber-wealthy who park at the corner of entrepreneurship and entertainment. Think Silicon Valley royalty or the self-made millionaires of China. A hot, new model called the Wraith debuting in 2013 has helped change former opinions, shifting the focus from ride to drive.  
But while Rolls-Royce may have discontinued the old, "stuffy" image via the Wraith; video campaigns; and modern endorsements by Michael Strahan, Lady Gaga, and David Beckham, the timeworn elitist "ad"itude is relentlessly relished by Grey Poupon. Taking "ad"vantage of a good thing, they reprised their neverending classic in 2007 and 2013...and may not be finished smearing.

The question remains: with such devoted attempts to change the image of Rolls-Royce, is it ever possible to lose the silly, old catchphrase? Or will it linger indefinitely at the sight of every Grey Poupon bottle on a grocer’s shelf or an outdoor picnic?

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About the Author

Briskman Stanfield is a freelance copywriter and all-around, behind-the-scenes team player.

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