Skip to main content

Why Skittles matters.

Skittles jumped head first into the uncharted world of social media with its new un-website.

What's an un-website you ask? Check out This is wikibranding in action. Users define and create the brand's message and content. links to Twitter and Facebook to enable folks to tweet and friend the brand.

Why is this important? It's just a candy after all. (A very addictive one at that.) It's important because it represents a bold move by a marketer to defy the category norm and test something different.

Check out and you'll understand the dilemma faced by CPG brands. Why on earth would anyone need to visit And for the five people who do visit it, why on earth would they want to sit through a video on the history of sharing?

Skittles' new un-website has people talking, although it may only be media wonks at this point. But chatter is chatter in this world. The spammers have already hijacked the chatter, proof that it's working! (And for those in the agency world who are all-a-twitter over the fact that this site mimics that from modernista, get your head out of the agency bubble. Modernista does not own this format any more than one can lay claim to owning the idea of using music in a TV spot. This is a creative tactic available to all.)

The real test will be what Skittles does next. What will it learn from the unfiltered chatter? How will it engage and facilitate the next level of engagement? How this will inform the fundamental definition of the brand?


Popular posts from this blog

What makes a premium brand premium?

I was thinking the other day about the DNA of premium brands . One thing is certain -- it's a relative idea. For example, Hyatt is not a premium brand if you're used to staying at a W or a Ritz Carlton. But if your vacations to date have been holed up in a Holiday Inn, then by all means a stay in a Hyatt is a premium experience. Another thing is certain -- a brand is considered premium only when we believe it is worth the price. And that's where we can dig deeper. Why are we willing to pay more for a product when there are others that provide the same service or function at a lesser price? I have spent a good part of my marketing career developing strategies and ideas for a wide range of  premium brands, including American Express, Sony, Callaway Golf, Hilton, Jaguar, Land Rover – even the Toyota Prius.  Through these experiences I have come to believe that a premium brand is built upon specific tangible and intangible attributes that give it a sense wort

Super game. Dull ads

As a passionate Giants fan it is safe to say that I had a good time yesterday. But as an advertising professional I felt a bit underwhelmed by the caliber of the advertising . Many were entertaining. But few possessed that intangible Super Bowl-ness...big, pop-cultural, fun. Even fewer seemed to have anything relevant to say about the brand, such as the Planters "uni-brow" spot. I loved the Bridgestone "screaming animals" spot, but it would have been a much better spot for the Saab featured in the spot than the tires the car rode upon. As for Bud, good spots, but I've seen the dog and horse thing before. Tide's talking stain was funny, but did it have Super Bowl-ness? My fav? The Coke "balloon float" spot. It was classic Coke (for Coke Classic). Big. Entertaining. Unexpected twist. Utterly charming. And Charlie Brown finally won something. Coke is about smiles. And that spot was just that. The Audi spot that I wrote about last week liv

Will this be your first recession rodeo?

In a previous article I referenced Mark Twain’s quote, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”    If true, then this is a poem about marketing in a recession by reflecting on lessons which I will attempt to freshen... Ok, no more poetry. I recently revisited the WikiBranding articles I wrote during the 2008-2009 meltdown that spotlighted best practices from a range of marketers.   It struck me that  those of us who guided businesses through The Great Recession can  share  lessons we learned with managers for whom this downturn might be their first.  (Bob Barrie, Stuart D’Rozario and I had just co-founded BD’M; learning how to navigate the recession was not a choice!)     Who decides if we’re in a recession?     Spoiler alert:  the consumer decides.   News stories about the economy lead us believe we’re in a recession – the “R-word” is having its moment.     Economists might say otherwise, based on their often used definition of a recession, i.e., two consecutive quarters