Skittles Viral Campaign Holds a Mirror to Twitter

Skittles, a candy produced by Mars Incorporated, created a bit of an online uproar on March 1 when they made a dead simple, yet effective change to their web home page, www.skittles.com. Instead of a rainbow-colored product site as one would expect, users saw a Twitter feed for the search term Skittles.  The page was superimposed by an intercept survey asking users for their age, and acceptance of a simple terms and conditions statement:

“Just a heads up: Any stuff beyond the Skittles.com page is actually another site and not in our control. This panel may be hovering over the page, but SKITTLES® isn’t responsible for what other people post and say on these sites. Click the box below to acknowledge that you know SKITTLES® isn’t responsible for that stuff.”

Tweets containing the word ‘skittles’ automatically appeared on the new Skittles homepage, along with any tweets making reference to the change as they contained the same keyword.  The buzz on Twitter grew to a point where Skittles became the number one trending keyword in buzz monitoring tools such as Twitscoop.

skittles twitter trend

skittles-word-cloud

Several Twitterers used the opportunity for creative expression:

skittles1

Incidentally, this user claimed that Skittles look like a Rick Astley YouTube video.

Users quickly caught on to what Skittles was trying to achieve with the campaign, but were also having fun in being part of the action.

skittles tweet

Others gave in to the urge of turning a new found brand awareness into actual consumption.

skittles tweet

With this social media marketing campaign, Skittles effectively held up a mirror to the Twittersphere, a mirror which reflected and amplified whatever ‘skittle’ was thrown into it.

It will be interesting to see if and how others brands follow suit.

7 comments ↓

#1 Melodie on 03.02.09 at 12:32 am

I laughed when I saw my Tweet included in your blog post. Skittles definitely did a good job at creating viral buzz. I guarantee many people like myself choose Skittles next time we’re waiting in line but I am most interested in seeing how Skittles will overcome objections and respond to all the hype they created, especially to the negative feedback with references to racial slurs. This will be the true test of success OR failure of their viral campaign.

#2 Skittles Viral Campaign Holds a Mirror to Twitter | Ask Enquiro on 03.02.09 at 11:34 am

[…] Original Post: http://www.marketingfinger.com/2009/03/skittles-holds-a-mirror-to-twitter/ […]

#3 Al magt til folket - brugerne som leverandører af realtime brandimage « Annas tanker on 03.22.09 at 5:41 am

[…] stikket på Twitterdelen. Men inden da var der skabt så meget hype om Skittles, at det var det hotteste ord på Twitter. En hype, der har afstedkommet lige så meget snak om Skittles, som om indholdet. Vand på den […]

#4 GarykPatton on 06.16.09 at 3:44 am

I think I will try to recommend this post to my friends and family, cuz it’s really helpful.

#5 twitter marketing on 10.12.09 at 10:18 am

I just found a great squidoo article on twitter advertising i hope you all find interesting, http://www.squidoo.com/twitter-marketing-secrets

#6 Stefany Goldberg on 07.15.10 at 2:35 pm

Food for thought. Thanks, something to talk about with the wife.

#7 Al magt til folket - brugerne som leverandører af realtime brandimage | Digitale tanker fra hverdagen on 03.04.11 at 3:53 am

[…] stikket på Twitterdelen. Men inden da var der skabt så meget hype om Skittles, at det var det hotteste ord på Twitter. En hype, der har afstedkommet lige så meget snak om Skittles, som om indholdet. Vand på den […]

Leave a Comment