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Seriously, Let it go . . .

March 4, 2009

Skittles. Interweb the Rainbow.

Skittles. Interweb the Rainbow.

Who would’ve thought that a candy – yes candy – would challenge our understanding of destination websites and the social web, but it looks like Skittles did.  Just go to www.skittles.com and you find that they’ve redirected their homepage to one of several social sites where users are talking about the brand.   Whether you land on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Wikipedia you get the sense that folks are extremely brand loyal, and engagement metrics (if we had a standard way of defining that metric – but that’s another post) are through the roof!!!

Skittles.  Interweb the rainbow.

What I really find intruiguing is how the brand took the risk of letting go!

They didn’t build a huge site.  They didn’t build a social network.  They didn’t create a twitter channel.   They didn’t get someone in their company to blog about the brand.  They didn’t ask people to upload UGC for some sweeps or promotion.  They didn’t have to launch some huge ad campaign during the Superbowl to get people talking.  They let go!

They heroed the places and people already talking about their brand.  And in return, motivated even more people to interact just to see if they could make Skittles’ homepage.   They even embraced the fact that they can’t control what is being said about the brand, so they gated their endorsement of this new “interweb” with age verification.   They even let go of big budgets – this was quick, easy, and low cost.

While others have tried this before,  in particular the agency Modernista who uses this same strategy, but found a little glitch when the most “chatter” about their agency happened to be layoffs, this is seemingly the first time a well-known brand has taken the leap.

What do you think?

Some reading support:

http://adage.com/digitalnext/post?article_id=134995

http://gawker.com/5163329/skittles-maker-invents-perfect-depression-advertising

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13641_3-10187079-44.html

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2009 11:04 am

    Thought you might like this :).

    Funny how when you go back the the basics of the medium, things, I dunno, kinda work.

  2. MelissaHamilton permalink
    March 5, 2009 12:40 pm

    It’s funny, cause this type of thing is a good use of the ‘social web’ but really what’s the implications for #1 Advertising (no more websites?), #2 when things change (what it Flickr goes away) and #3 all the other social sites out there?

    What happens when someone chokes on a skittle? The FDA has a recall? There has to be a HUGE PR crisis management plan in place as well. A narritive (or maybe novel) of what if’s and the answers to each.

  3. March 6, 2009 8:39 pm

    Terrific post. I think embracing The Real is the point here. The what if’s are come-what-may. If you have a PR debacle, respond with the openness that you show in good Taste the Rainbow times. It reinforces the point of Chuck’s book that our job is quickly morphing from yacking at people to engaging and interacting with communities.

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