Beg your pardon

Grey Poupon plans condiment commercial comeback during Academy Awards

Grey Poupon plans condiment commercial comeback during Academy Awards

Believe it or not, it’s been 16 years since one rich gentleman rolled down the window of his chauffeured ride to ask another rich gentleman, “Pardon me. Would you have any Grey Poupon?

The original commercial, which debuted in 1981, had a pretty good run for Kraft Foods, and it’s so ingrained in our pop culture that we bet even teenagers can catch the reference. We appreciate that the upscale condiment has never shied away from poking fun at its own stuffy image.

But the 200-year-old brand is hoping for a comeback. Grey Poupon returns to the commercial spotlight during the Academy Awards this Sunday with a single 30-second spot. Estimated cost: $1.7 million.

The new commercial picks up where the old one left off (see teaser above), and a car chase ensues. It’s directed by Bryan Buckley, known for his Super Bowl campaigns.

The goal, of course, is to spark interest in a brand that is now competing with fancier, more artisanal condiments. The spot will only air on TV the one time, after which it will be available online — as a catalyst, presumably, for other online marketing campaigns.

Grey Poupon commercial c. 1981
The original Grey Poupon TV commercial debuted in 1981. 
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The new Grey Poupon commercial airs during the 85th Annual Academy Awards.  Courtesy of © Corbis