The celebrity love triangle between Olivia Wilde, Jason Sudeikis and Harry Styles was a hot topic of conversation throughout 2022. When a lover's quarrel surrounding a supposed “secret salad dressing” emerged, the internet scrambled for the recipe, and Wilde revealed the dressing's main ingredient is Grey Poupon Mustard.
Following the revelation, Grey Poupon saw a unique opportunity to insert itself into the narrative. To capitalize on the pop culture moment, in just 24 hours, Grey Poupon announced and created limited edition ‘Don’t Worry Dijon’ jars, featuring the newly dubbed “Don’t Worry Dressing” recipe and a red feather boa. The brand followed up on the news by offering a social giveaway of 100 ‘Don’t Worry Dijon’ jars as people were clamoring to get their hands on one.
The campaign objective was to newsjack the moment and create a viral earned and social frenzy in a cheeky and fun way that aligned with Grey Poupon’s broader brand platform of savoring everyday joie de vivre and embracing life’s unexpected moments.
In October 2022, #SALADGATE was trending after an article revealed that Olivia Wilde supposedly won Harry Styles over with a homemade salad dressing recipe. Soon after the scandalous story dropped and fans clamored for the recipe, Wilde took to social to post the recipe, highlighting Grey Poupon as the main ingredient.
Less than 24 hours after Wilde revealed the salad dressing recipe, Grey Poupon took control of the narrative, announcing the release of 100 limited edition ‘Don’t Worry Dijon’ jars.
Grey Poupon quickly seized the opportunity, teasing the creation of these limited-edition jars via the brand's Instagram page, telling fans to keep an eye out for how to get one, and pitching out the post to a variety of media contacts across beats.
Along with the timely rebranded product name, the jars featured a witty take on the recipe copy and a cheeky red feather boa.
To further fan the flames of excitement, 48 hours later, the brand officially announced how fans could get their hands on a jar and followed up with media contacts to secure further editorial coverage.
Through a two-phased, dual social media and earned approach, the team deployed the following tactics to exceed overall goals:
The Art of Newsjacking: Newsjacking moments typically have a ~48hr period of relevance before the story is old news requiring fast action and swift approvals. Acting on a significant cultural moment within 24 hours of the event increases the likelihood of garnering viral attention and staying relevant in the conversation. Grey Poupon did just that by embracing this unexpected opportunity and acting agilely to release the limited edition ‘Don’t Worry Dijon’ jars.
Moved as Quick as the News Cycle: In less than 24 hours, Grey Poupon created image mock-ups, media materials and secured legal approval before sharing images of the limited-edition jars. The Grey Poupon and Zeno teams collaborated quickly and smoothly to bring this to life, secure approvals and get the news out there.
LTO Product Imagery Mockups: Media embraced realistic mock-ups of the LTO product, without having the product in-hand. Since production of the jars was estimated to take a couple of weeks, the mock-ups successfully captured attention and secured coverage.
Multi-Phased Media Strategy: Grey Poupon kicked off the news with product mock-ups and a “coming soon” promise on how consumers could get their hands on the LTO jars. Once the rules and regulations were ready for deployment, the pitch team followed up with the same media and newsfeeds to let fans know they could now enter the giveaway to win one of 100 jars made. This resulted in two distinct coverage pulses in a week.
Tailored Outreach: Leveraged widespread virality to reactively pitch contacts that previously covered the salad dressing and love triangle. Tailored pitches to specific beats across pop culture/entertainment, general news, lifestyle and food focused outlets to drive further excitement and highlight relevant elements of the campaign for each.
Grey Poupon’s ‘Don’t Worry Dijon’ campaign was an incredibly successful newsjacking moment. Given the fast-paced nature of the activation (24-hour turnaround), KPIs were not established; However, the results are impressive.
Generated 530+ placements across online, broadcast and social media, resulting in 1.9B+ earned media impressions.
Secured top tier earned coverage in CNN, People, Delish, Elite Daily, Fox, AdAge, US Weekly, Entertainment Tonight, E! and more.
Drove a groundswell of Grey Poupon stories, touting the timely jars and smart, quick execution by the brand - transforming minor brand mentions in the recipe into brand feature stories.
Bolstered brand recognition and cultural relevance for Grey Poupon in a fast-paced, pop-culture newsjacking moment.
The original Instagram post with the jar mockup garnered 6.6k+ likes and 360+ comments, while the social giveaway for the jars contributed to 1.7k+ potential entries and roughly 2k new followers for the brand’s Instagram (30% increase).