We’re hoping you caught the sarcasm in the title of this post. In all seriousness, however, news moves so fast these days that posting about Skittles today feels in a way like posting a story on Obama’s campaign victory a week later.
We digress. Certainly, you have heard of Skittles PR stunt that began yesterday. The candy maker re-skinned Skittles.com to display only the Twitter search result page for the keyword Skittles. So, you go to Skittles.com to see what people are saying about Skittles on Twitter, when what they are talking about on Twitter is that Skittles re-skinned it’s homepage to display only the search result page for the keyword Skittles. And so the cycle continues.
Confused yet? It’s ok, so is everyone else, it seems. Some are calling it “the worst thing to ever happen to social media branding,” while others say the re-skin is the “ultimate Twitter viral campaign.”
Regardless, many are saying the idea was stolen from Modernista, which did the same thing a year ago.
As David Aramano, VP of Experience Design for Critical Mass writes, “…the story is bigger than what Skittles or Modernista! have done and the punditry that will inevitably swirl around it. The big takeaway is that the traditional (yes, this includes digital) model is being disrupted before our eyes. Business as usual used to mean a Flash and promo heavy website for a brand like skittles, and now it looks entirely different. And it doesn’t mean it will work either. Do people really want to engage with a brand like this on Facebook, a ecosystem built primarily for managing your social and professional life?”
We agree with Armano, namely with the point that there are bigger issues at play here than this specific effort from Skittles. Also, it bears asking, what were/are the goals of the campaign? Generate a ton of link love, SEO and online conversation for the brand while experimenting in social media? Ok. It seems that Agency.com, the agency responsible for the campaign wouldn’t go on the record with Advertising Age. Digital Editor Abbey Klaassen cited an “Agency.com spokeswoman” with the following statement: “Skittles as a brand is all about embracing and empowering the conversation online — just look at the YouTube entries and their Facebook page. Its kind of a natural evolution for them moving in to something like this.”