I have come across this very interesting new online campaign for the Mars Inc product Skittles, (although it has actually been up for a little while now.)
Mars has changed the domain skittles.com to be a Twitter search page for the term ‘skittles’. This is not the first time something like this has been done, see Modernista.com which uses not just Twitter, but different social media venues, however the overlay is a bit unprofessional looking. I-Crossing is the agency responsible for the new Skittles campaign and their representative says that the point of it is to show that Mars (or Skittles at least) considers the consumers to be the defining parameters of their brand.
It is a very brave move, because it is not going to be moderated and so people could obviously use it as a platform for themselves, other products, political statements, negative rants, etc. There have been lots of negative comments about Skittles (although, how negative can you be about lollies?), but equally there have been lots of positive comments. More importantly, Skittles has moved to be one of the top discussed terms on Twitter.
I have nothing but praise for this brave move. It is difficult to come up with a new interesting angle for making a visitor come to a product site. Viral games or video’s are already old hat, so I think it is genius to come up with something so innovative, even if it is second hand, and then having the guts to put it out there unmoderated.
There are some calling I-crossing and Skittles copy-cats, but this is evolution, it is copy and improvement. Skittles.com is a slight improvement on Modernista because it looks more professional but copies the intent of the idea.
p.s. I wanted to post a Google Trends pic to try and see/show the traffic changes to the site recently, but none is registering yet…