Grey Poupon's famous "Pardon Me" TV commercial is returning for a moment of Oscar glory. After a 16-year hiatus, the mustard that mocked its own stuffy image in one of TV's most famous commercials will once again take to the airwaves during Sunday's Academy Awards. The new ad begins in the same way as the original: An aristocratic English gentleman is being chauffeured in the countryside, when another car pulls up alongside them at a stop. The back window rolls down and a second man asks in an over-the-top snooty accent, "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?"
The first man courteously responds, "But of course," and hands him a jar out the window. In the new version, however, the scene continues with the second car speeding off without returning the mustard. A wild car chase through a golf course and city streets ensues, complete with explosions to make the spot look like a trailer for an action adventure movie. The spot comes as Kraft Foods looks to boost sagging sales: Over the past four years, the company says Grey Poupon's sales have been flat to down as more mustards and other condiments have appeared on the shelves. Its share of the US mustard market has fallen from 13.7% in 2003 to 11.4% last year, according to a market researcher.