Sunday, July 31, 2011

Classic (Good) Commercials: Grey Poupon

Right, so I've talked about bad commercials a lot recently and, lest you think I just hate everything, I'm going to talk about a commercial I think is actually really good. It especially stands the test of time, unlike, well... other older commercials. "Please don't squeeze the Charmin" comes to mind, but that's mainly the execution. In fact, I find that many popular/classic commercials from olden times only age poorly because of the poor (for today) execution. Most of the ideas for those commercials are still great, as opposed to today, where the popular commercials usually are perfectly fine in their execution but have a terrible idea at their core.

Anyway, here's the commercial.

Honestly, I don't have much to say about this one that isn't, "Now THIS is a good commercial." Because it is. It's brilliant. And what's more, it cost them nothing but the price of renting the two cars and hiring the actors. This commercial pretty much saved Grey Poupon from... well, from not selling so well. It conveys so much in a short amount of time and in this regard, I think, it is one of the most classic commercials. It also illustrates probably the purest example of one of the easiest (yet, strangely, rarely-well-done) ways to sell a more expensive product: tell people it's better. Grey Poupon isn't an expensive thing of mustard, it's a luxury item that shows you have taste.

And everyone ate up. And why wouldn't you? The commercial's fantastic.

In fact, the only thing I'd change--and keep in mind that this is mainly because sensibilities have changed (people liked narrators better back in olden times, hence the creation of fairy tales)--is to cut out the narration altogether or maybe clip the narrator's first bit about Grey Poupon being affordable and move it to the end. That way it puts a point on the commercial and adds a more explicit contrast between the mustard and the Rolls-Royces, implying that while both are equal in terms of class, at least the Grey Poupon doesn't cost you your firstborn child (this ancient financial system is yet another element of past life that can be seen in fairy tales).

That's all for today, I do still have a lot of stuff to do. Tomorrow I'll either talk about another good commercial, another terrible one, Science, or I'll just post a picture of a cute animal.

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