September 14, 2012, 4:12 PM

Grey Poupon pins its web presence to Pinterest

The brand swaps its web site for a page on the Pinterest social network.

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Grey Poupon is spreading out all over social media.

The brand this week swapped out its web site for a page on Pinterest, the burgeoning social network where users collect and show off things they've found around the web. That means that when a consumer types in the URL “http://www.GreyPoupon.com,” she is immediately taken to the brand’s Pinterest page, where she can't buy Grey Poupon mustard but can share information about it. A consumer does not have to be a member of Pinterest to view or interact with the page.

The Pinterest page has 10 boards that feature recipes, product descriptions for the brand’s six mustard varieties. The brand, whose ads playfully suggest Grey Poupon is for the upper crust,  also offers tongue-in-cheek, “classy” tips, such as “Nothing says money like cuff-links engraved with an image of your own sailboat.”

The move aims to engage online shoppers by reaching them where they are already spending time, says Ryan Shamir, Grey Poupon’s brand manager. “We want to insert ourselves where people are going for online content,” she says.

By leveraging Pinterest, the brand aims to entice consumers to share its content, she says. On Pinterest consumers can share or “pin” items, such as a recipe for a Reuben sandwich. Those pins are often accompanied by a brief description or caption that appears below an image of the pinned item, such as “The Reuben Sandwich. It's how a sultan eats corned beef.” Those pins are gathered together on a board, which brands and users can organize around a particular theme, say “The Art of the Sandwich,” and share with friends.

Grey Poupon has also launched a Facebook application that playfully aims to discern whether a consumer is “classy” enough to gain membership into “The Society of Good Taste,” which is what the brand calls its fan base. The application, developed by advertising and design agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, uses an algorithm that examines whether a consumer’s  grammar, education, music selection, restaurant check-ins and other information shared on the social network fit the brand’s standards.

If a consumer is rejected by the society, the page rescinds the consumer’s Like of the page. If a consumer doesn’t meet those membership standards, he can edit his page and apply again.

“The goal is to turn the typical ways that brands interact with people on Facebook on its head and to do it in a way only Grey Poupon can,” Shamir says. “A lot of brands are about the masses. We’re looking for those who exhibit good taste.”

As part of the campaign, the brand will give away prizes that fit the Grey Poupon aesthetic, such as Julia Child’s cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and a weekend chauffeur. The latter harkens back to the brand’s commercials that featured a man in a chauffeured car who rolls down his window to ask another man in a chauffeured car, “Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?”

Two days after the application went live, the brand has added roughly 8,000 new Likes. The application aims to go beyond shoppers just Liking the brand—it seeks to get them posting about the brand, Shamir says.

So far getting shoppers to post about the brand has been less successful, as the Grey Poupon’s Facebook page, which has more than 28,000 Likes, has prompted only 529 people to post in the past week, according to the People Talking About metric on Grey Poupon’s Facebook page.

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