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Taste the Rainbow

March 7, 2009

skittles2Last week, Skittles unveiled a new marketing campaign that has thus far, gotten them a lot of press.

Why?

New campaigns, Web sites, and advertisements are rolled out every day. However, Skittles has generated genius levels of press because they have put their Web page in the hands of the public, something very few would dare to do.

If you go to the Skittles Web site, you will actually find yourself on Wikipedia – although, for the first few days it took users directly to a Twitter page.

From here you can navigate to what people are saying about Skittles on Twitter, what Skittles’ Friends are posting on the Skittles fan wall on Facebook, and pictures on and videos with Skittles taglines on flickr and YouTube. You can also go to the proprietary Web site to get nutrition facts on the various types and flavors of the candy.

Of course, with such a vast amount of public-generated content, Skittles is taking quite a risk that people will post nasty reviews of their product.

On the flip side, the new campaign almost wholly guarantees fresh daily content on any of the sites you can link to from the Skittles navigation bar which follows you to all the different sites. There are very few consumer products that I am aware of that have constantly updated and/or fresh content, especially to the degree Skittles has with this new format.

Obviously, the folks at Skittles will have to closely monitor what users are saying on these sites. I think that although they cannot control what people will say, they have opened up an approach to have an open dialogue directly with Skittles consumers (both the lovers and the haters). And this may be the point where they are really going to see the most expense, by devoting man-hours to keeping up with the content and dialogue. However, I don’t doubt that it has great potential to be a revolutionary marketing tool, limited only by how they respond to the negative content that will undoubtedly be generated. Many companies have learned the hard way what happens when you don’t address angry bloggers or Twitter-ers.

In the end, Skittles has definitely taken aim at their target consumers by appealing to them on the most popular social networking and user-generated content sites of today. Only time will tell whether this concentrated marketing effort will pay off, or if it will in fact be a model others will start to follow.

Oh, and I LOVE Skittles.

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One comment

  1. […] One approach, taken recently by Skittles, is for a company to almost completely hand over control of their Web site to Internet users. This is an extremely risky move, as I discussed here. […]



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