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.Â 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 SKITTLESÂ® isn’t responsible for what other people post and say on these sites. Click the box below to acknowledge that you know SKITTLESÂ® 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.Â The buzz on Twitter grew to a point where Skittles became the number one trending keyword in buzz monitoring tools such as Twitscoop.
Several Twitterers used the opportunity for creative expression:
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.
Others gave in to the urge of turning a new found brand awareness into actual consumption.
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.