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Friday, 06 March 2009


AdLand Suit

The joys of letting the public run wild with your brand without giving them any kind of benefit in return. I'd hate to be the account man who promised the client that there 'absolutely won't be any negative impact'...

Chris Reed

I thought that Skittles had put a filter on tweets to ensure that it ignored those sorts of things - obviously not. But would make sense to do an auto-filter wouldn't it?
It's one thing being as brave as they have (which deserves huge kudos), but accepting absolutely everything goes beyond bravery, no?


actually I'd hate to be the Account Planning Director on this one. sure it is a flawed piece of tactic, but if they pull it or alter it now, as the head of the agency I'd be asking where the strategic thinking behind all this is.

either stick with it because there is an underlying thought to go with it (and as with all things new, they only become good when they are boring, think Shirkeys thoughts on email), or this should have never seen the light of day, (or been billed by a hack PR company..)

In a couple of weeks time this type of fun will have largely faded away (because people don;t think about skittles all the time).

at that point, when the novelty wears of, it could have impact or use.

so let's wait and see what follows and then face the shareholders...


It's a brave but inherently flawed experiment IMO. Kudos for Mars for buying the idea, but its an echo-chamber creative idea, the only people who care about it work in advertising and digital.

There is nothing really to say about Skittles, that is the inherent problem. Which means there's nothing in it for the end user.

Incidentally, I just gave a guy 3 weeks work experience partly because he told me that he had used Skittles.com to quadruple the traffic to his portfolio website by simply using the Skittles hashtag next to his own URL. Thought it showed signs of brilliance!


I think it is genius. Skittles may reap some undeserved kudos from this (think teenagers and chortling students) but on the most part no-one will be exposed to this, especially not the easily offended mummy segment. Twitter is about as relevant to them as smack.

No, the real winners out of this are your favourite band and mine, Anal Cunt. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal_Cunt] whom I trust will receive ridiculous amounts of enquiries and digital downloads. Ps I recommend '40 more reasons to hate us'. Classic.


Interesting spin on the story that's been all over the social media marketing blogosphere lately...
I read a line of thought behind your statement. Are they criteria that makes a brand a good fit in social media? And if those criteria aren't met, you can't be part of the game?
Criteria such as:
-are people already talking passionately about your/your stuff (I'm sure wouldn't have been the case for skittle)
-is there a potential that they will talk passionately about you/your stuff if you start to engage?
and so on.

Social media is about content and people which makes conversation. If you don't have/can't have interesting content and don't have passionate people, then think twice.


I know appreciate the strict moderation proposed by a former client (financial service) for a bebo profile they set up.

I see your point about not every brand being fit for social media but I think most brands can enjoy social media if you open up conversation in relation to a big idea for a running campaign. Cadbury was successful in doing so and they're only chocolate :)

Stan Lee

"the only people who care about it work in advertising and digital."

Sadly that applies to most of the stuff people in 'social media' seem to talk about.

Industry people really need to get out more. I don't mean out to bars and clubs, I mean out to depressing suburbs where ordinary people live ordinary lives.


Thanks for comments. Sorry I've taken a bit longer than usual to post back.
@Laurent I adhere to the Cluetrain thought that "all markets are conversations" and I thin that this is simply amplified in the world of the Social Web aka Social Media. It's not to say that an FMCG brand like Skittles were wrong to have utilised their twitter stream in the way that they did, its just that in my opinion they had started no interesting discussions so it quickly turned silly and was simply part of the Twitter echo-chamber. If they had been doing something really interesting either comms/actions than maybe there would have been something worth talking about.

@Daisy You're right interesting brands regardless of category should be able to think about ways to use social web platforms to the benefit of the brand and the consumer. Totally agree. Its about understanding the conversation though and unlocking areas for people to talk about.

@Stan Lee Ouch, you mean that I have to go out to "depressing suburbs"?? Damn, but you have a point. The majority of us are happily insulated in a our little bubble of middle-class media existence. I know that I am.

Victor Houghton

The @robmanuel bit tells me that this campaign was instigated by the rebellious b3ta.com community. Rob Manuel is its founder. If there's a coordinated online attack on a brand like this, the chances are that b3ta are behind it. They are very naughty.
Ben Goldacre (he of Bad Science) appears to a be a naughty boy too, judging by your screen grab.


This was an interesting Campaign article on the Skittles social media experiment


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