TechCrunch commended Skittles for taking a risk and I’m with them. It’s surprising how some brands that have the potential to take these first drastic social media plunges choose not to do or or to do so half assedly.
Case in point: Jack-in-the-Box, which went through the trouble of killing its spokesperson during an ad on the Superbowl only to bring him back to life sooner rather than later, thus failing to leave the future of the brand in the hands of the public and word-of-mouth for too long. I never thought the site was too remarkable either. Perhaps it was a social media test run? Perhaps it just needed its good ol’ spokersperson back to regain control of the message? I could go on…Not Skittles though. Once you’ve entered your age (good instinct on their part as it will work in their favor when the outraged masses object to their new Web site being unfiltered conversation) there are no banners (save for the one that floats on top to help you navigate) or corporate messages (technically), or slogans or ads (per sé) – what you see is what people are saying about the brand using the hashtag on Twitter Unfiltered, real time conversation.
The products tab takes you to information on the different Skittles flavors, the friends tab takes you to the Skittles Facebook Fan Page, the media tab takes you to pictures on Flickr and videos on YouTube and the contact tab allows you to contact Skittles directly… as if they weren’t monitoring all of this… ready to jump in as soon as someone calls out their name for help/concerns/praise…The new site has been received with a mix of emotions (I just saw a comment on their YouTube channel that reads “Skittles and MARS suck ass”), but marketers have given them props for the ballsy move.
NOTE: As I’m about to hit the publish button (finally), Skittles changed their home page to the the Skittles Facebook Fan Page. Live and learn.