Skittles Branding Experiment

The chatter all over Twitter this morning is Skittles, not the game but the Mars sweet/candy. last night, the brand launched their new home page, copying what the agency Modernista has done previously.

In essence, the Skittles site is now (mainly) a frame that pulls in other sites on the web. In what is their most risky move, the home page is a Twitter search. As well as pulling up people’s comments about the new site, it is also being ruthlessly gamed. I’m not sure how long this will last; they’ve obviously thought about this as you go through an age check before you hit the site, I assume to ensure you are old enough to be there is there is going to be swearing etc, UPDATE: two days later, they’re now using Facebook as the homepage, with Twitter relegated back to chatter alone. I suspected they’d do something like that


Skittles on You Tube (screenshot from site)
Skittles on You Tube (screenshot from site)
Skittles on Flickr (screenshot from site)
Skittles on Flickr (screenshot from site)

The rest of the site is more controllable. It shows the Skittle profiles on YouTube and Flickr for their images and videos. They also have a Facebook page for their ‘friends’, where you can join the group. This also has a nice little mixing game, to create a song for your favourite Skittles.

They only seem to have 2 pages which are on the Skittle site – the overall product page with nutritional information (the other product pages are Wikipedia ones) and the contact us page.

What do I think?

It makes a change for an agency (in this case to borrow from another agency site instead of from YouTube or Facebook. They’ve done a nice job of the site, as well as what I’m guessing was a very interesting internal discussion with their client, who has to be congratulated for making such a bold step for a consumer brand.

In most places, the idea works; the videos, images and Facebook links are the most useful for a brand. I’m not 100% convinced it works for the products, as the Wikipedia page does not really give much information out about the product (and will now be subject to vandelism). The home page is the most interesting choice. At the moment, with the novelty, Skittles is trending number one for mentions, the word is being gamed and all sorts of stuff is up there. I’d love to understand the normal level of Twitter mentions – is it actually regular enough to justify having the page as your home page? Or, as I think they will, once the immediate buzz has died down they’ll leave the Twitter on the Chatter page and put something else up on the home page?

I like this. As a campaign idea to raise the profile of the brand it is currently working superbly and as a long term idea it has legs. The brand can focus it’s efforts on building portable content and easily feed into the main site, something I think could be a far more effective way to use brand marketing budget. Hopefully the brand will hold tight over the first few days until it settles down and then start really working it.

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2 Responses to Skittles Branding Experiment

  1. Lots of chatter which is healthy for us just as much as Skittles :)

  2. Rachel says:

    Agree. It’s raising the profile, but a lot of people are going to use it for scaremongering as well. Today (4th) they’re using Facebook as the homepage, which does not surprise me.