Monday, March 02, 2009

Skittles surrenders its homepage to social media

In a move that has everyone's keyboard waggin', Skittles has ditched their homepage and incorporated related pages from Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube into their site. When you now go to, you are asked to provide your DOB, then you are greeted by the Twitter search page for 'skittles'. If you click on Media in the box to the top left, and then Videos, you get their YouTube Channel. If you click on Pics, you get search results for Skittles on Flickr. Finally, clicking Friends takes you to Skittles' Facebook fan page.

Not surprisingly, this bold move has Skittles as the top trending topic on Twitter, and it will probably be at or near the top for at least all of today. This move presents two obvious questions/problems for Skittles:

1 - Since Skittles is now pulling content from social sites, that means some pretty unflattering tweets and pics could be prominently displayed on Skittles site. As Li found, this is already happening.

2 - Skittles is now getting a TON of buzz for this move. Good for them, but there needs to be a payoff to doing this. Does the company have a strategy in place where this move is the first step in a larger process that will successfully leverage this buzz? We'll soon find out, but if this was a one-shot move, my feeling is that the buzz will turn into backlash. And to be fair, a lot of the chatter about this move is already negative. So for Skittles' sake, I hope they have a plan in place to build off of the attention they are getting now.

Will be interesting to see what happens next. Maybe I am giving Skittles too much credit, but I think this is just the first step of a larger strategy. What do you think? What should Skittles do next?


Katie said...

I think it's bizarre that they would link to the Twitter search page. If we wanted to know what others were saying about this Skittles campaign, we know where to find it. I want to know what Skittles has to say about Skittles. I don't feel like reading some string of curse words with Skittles thrown in, as in Li's screen shot. My guess is that it's part of their big plan and they'll come wow us with some crazy interaction. Until that happens, they did succeed at making me crave Skittles.

Anonymous said...

Well - they are getting an age-specific demographic of Twitter/Social Media users that have said "I have some interest in Skittles"... My guess is it is the first step in a much bigger campaign, focusing on the simple data they are collecting...

Anonymous said...

I liked the idea and did a positive tweet on it. I think Skittles is really smart and courageous to promote a platform that showcases both positive and negative opinions on their product.

Mack Collier said...

Jon I think that's an interesting take, but I would say that any data they collected yesterday (at least) was heavily distorted by traffic from social media 'power users'. We have all been on Twitter hyping this move by Skittles, so I'm not sure that the extra interest yesterday implies that there is extra interest in buying Skittles. I saw a funny and accurate tweet from @Ikepigott that said that 'right now this is a campaign about a campaign'.

Right now the switching of the homepage is what's getting the attention, and it's too soon to see if that will translate into increased positive attention for the product. Which will ultimately define the move as a success or failure.

But you are correct that they are now getting a TON of data and feedback that they will be collecting and analyzing IF they are smart. One thing that concerns me is that I've read a few posts about this move, and so far haven't seen Skittles replying in the comments. That is worrisome, as it could suggest that Skittles isn't monitoring blog chatter. They should be.

Will be interesting to see what comes next!

Anonymous said...

This strikes me as a very cool idea to reach and excite social media geeks like us, but what about the average Skittles-loving kid? Do they really care about who's saying what about Skittles on Twitter or any other site for that matter?

I guess ultimately, this mystifies me. Skittles strikes me as a brand that got sucked into the shiny new toy mentality of social media and totally left all semblance of brand strategy and core audiences behind, lonely and forgotten.

Anonymous said...

First we had the big Motrin uproar...then Brogan Paid Blog scandal...and now Skittles.

You know the only people who really care or talked about this are folks in the social media biz?

And maybe a couple of people in marketing industry news media because they need something to write about.

Among the 50 or so 'normal' friends I have, not a single one has heard of either of these three BIG events.

Nor cared.

We do like to talk among ourselves about how important our space in the universe is, don't we?

I mean, yay Skittles for trying something new. I hope it works out for them and it moves some product.

But it really isn't all that buzz-worthy.

I mean, it's not like Angelina and Brad going on vacation to Myanmar or Jen getting back together with John Mayer.

You know...*important* stuff. ;-)

Justin Kownacki said...

Odds are, they'll pull the plug on all this chicanery in a week or so and say, "This is an example of what would happen if we let amateurs do our marketing for us." Then they'll roll out the most amazing corporate-approved, multi-million dollar advertising campaign for rainbow-colored candy anyone's ever SEEN.

And then we'll all be talking about it AGAIN.