Skittles Is Fully Committed to Social Media Marketing

skittles1I have read and heard many comments and opinions over the past week about Skittles’ edgy move with its new Web site that launched last Monday, but I have been most drawn to the debates from traditional marketers. Some still assume that Skittles plans to unveil its “real” site later. They think that this is merely a teaser campaign.

But the reality is, these marketers simply don’t get it. This is not using Social Media as a precursor to unveil a traditional marketing campaign. This IS the campaign. And while time will tell exactly how effective Skittles’ site will prove to be, one thing is for certain. They not only understand the power of Social Media Networking, they know that it is the way of the future.

Skittles is using Social Media to give complete control to consumers to tell the story of their brand. This possibly gives a whole new meaning to consumer-oriented advertising. The only thing the company is saying (or implying) is, “We are so confident with our product, we want everyone to tell how they really feel and if there is a problem, we want to know about it.” Skittles is not only embracing Social Media Networking, they are optimizing it to its fullest extent.

Stan Schroeder, IT journalist and Features Editor for Mashable, noted, “We won’t see all corporations do a complete social media makeover as Skittles did anytime soon, but we will see them give more and more importance to the various social channels out there.”

The longer you choose to rest in the comfortable world of traditional marketing, the further and further behind you will fall and the more difficult it will be to catch up with your competition.

If you are still unclear to the different outlets and tools available, Skittles’ site is a great learning ground. It provides insight to Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. According to Mars, the Skittles.com landing page will regularly change “depending upon what is currently in market.” Check it out.

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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email
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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I am hugely impressed by this move from Skittles and it’s very brave of a brand to relinquish tight control over their brand. I wonder if we will see high ticket brands brave enough to do this, though. After all – how much criticism can be directed at Skittles to the point the brand will be damaged (what does a packet of candy cost? 80 cents?).

    My wife says she has seen another ad agency do something similar to this for one of their clients but she can’t recall the campaign. Can anyone enlighten me?

    – Martin

  2. How interesting! I wrote something very similar on their Social Media venture. I applaud their vision, into what I call the power of not developing…

    I’d appreciate your comments on my article; http://www.moralfibre.co.za/2009/03/27/integrated-evolution-skittlescom-and-going-anti-social/

  3. Excellent analysis of the utilization of social media in the newer Skittles website (and brand). While I think that the general idea of implementing social media is a great and is a powerful statement about the Skittles brand, I think the execution could use some tweaks.

    Check out my analysis of their execution here: http://www.fourthfloorinteractive.com/blog/2009/02/27/skittles-gets-rid-of-their-website/

  4. Thank you for the insight – as we marketers move forward in educating our customers on Social Media and how to effectively use it to market small businesses online – it’s awesome to see this giant leap that Skittles/Mars has made to pave the way for others.

    I will be exited to see this evolve.

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