free html hit counter Skittles: The Homepage is the Conversation | John Battelle's Search Blog

Skittles: The Homepage is the Conversation

By - March 01, 2009

Love this:



http://skittles.com/

The home page is literally a Twitter search for “skittles”. That’s a brand embracing the conversation. Well done.

(Thanks Matt J)

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  • http://www.coldfusioning.com/index.cfm/2009/3/2/Skittles James Brown

    Thew news is spreading very quickly… but it’ll be interesting to see how long they leave it up.

  • http://thenoisychannel.com/ Daniel Tunkelang

    It’s a great gimmick–but it strikes me as more of a marketing effort for Twitter than for Skittles. Skittles has had a real web page for over a decade — check out http://web.archive.org/web/19980704015031/www.skittles.com/index.cgi and http://web.archive.org/web/20030123205045/http://skittles.com/ — and I have to say that redirecting to search.twitter.com isn’t quite the same.

    That said, if they’re just doing this for a few days to get the attention of Twitter users, then perhaps it’s an effective (and free!) marketing campaign.

  • http://www.tattle.com VN

    “What a lame marketing stunt…hmm…I really could use some skittles right now…”

  • Foo

    The first tweet I saw on the Skittles homepage was “Why eat Skittles when you can eat a dick?”

    It isn’t “embracing the conversation” when you blindly echo any mention of a keyword.

  • http://dalelarson.com Dale Larson

    Having the courage to do something like this and get all the publicity that it generates is amazing, and I applaud it!

    There’s no controlling where the conversation goes, and it could go really negative, but everyone involved will learn something in the process.

  • DC

    Foo,

    You are probably seeing that because a lot of smug haters on Twitter are posting messages like that on purpose. I’ve seen more mentions of Skittles in my Twitter stream in the past hour than I have, ever. One person starts it and a hive mentality takes over with everyone determined to get in on the action and out do each other. Seriously, a swarm of bees.

    It irritates me that so many people that work at start-ups or support start-ups think it is funny to sabotage advertising campaigns because they consider leveraging advertising for revenue as selling out.

    On the other hand, Skittles needed to be advised that this was a possiblity. Not to have some sort of screener is either wickedly smart or just dumb. I hope the prior.

    I did a campaign for a client back in ’04 – a character blog. We told him that it would generate negative press, (which it did) and he decided to go for it anyway. Turns out that the site was extremely successful with our target and our critics propelled a new product with zero search engine ranking/mentions, to #1 for several keywords.

    I hope this works for Skittles! I would prefer to see them doing something in addition to Twitter as well as offline to start a real conversation.

  • http://latimes.com/sm Andrew Nystrom

    Still up 5+ hours later … this bold (foolish?) experiment will truly test the adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

  • DC

    I know how they could fix this and come out looking like champs.

  • http://search.info.pl nmw

    *YAWN*

    That kind of “trapping” users is infantile.

    If you want to see what’s happening, try out http://twitter.social-networks.info (though the retweet search may be sorta flaky)…

    :) nmw

  • Wayne MacPhail

    That’s not a conversation, it’s a cynical vanity ploy. I hope they get badly culturejammed or ignored. Nothing to be proud of there.

  • http://www.evansink.com Perry

    hmm, Hard Candy. Not so sweet to tweet.

  • Jane

    While it’s all been done before, the way Agency.com executed the Skittles the site – it looks like what Modernista has already done http://www.modernista.com

    And this isn’t about Twitter as Skittles was using Wikipedia as the home page when the site first went up.

    I do love how Modernista’s light floating nav, above their Facebook page, says “Do not be alarmed. You are viewing Modernista through the eyes of the web.”

  • http://willowsmarshjobblog.blogspot.com Karen Masullo

    I love that when you use your browser’s back button, it redirects to the Wikipedia page for Skittles.

    It’s working, there’s buzz, there’s traffic.

    It’s fun. They’ve always associated the brand with fun.

  • http://www.sorengordhamer.com SorenG

    Site is waaaaaay too busy for me. Nice idea, but hard to see how they are encouraging a conversation. Two points for creativity, minus one for execution.

  • http://www.artiajans.net/otomobil/ Otomobil

    You are wonderful John, it is funny : )

  • Twitter ADD

    This will be a good test of Twitters affect on attention. I predict Twitter’s #skittles search traffic back to near zero by next Monday.

  • http://www.typetive.com/candyblog cybele

    The site launched last week. Though I certainly think that some of the idea of using existing content on the web is great, the idea of linking to Wikipedia for the actual product info is more than annoying. If I wanted to know what Wikipedia had to say about Skittles, I’d go to Wikipedia. I go to an official company site to find out what the official company info is. (And the Wiki page is actually inaccurate on a few items.)

    Also, it doesn’t appear to be made for “smaller” screens like 1024 width, it overlays too much of the content underneath and it can’t be moved.

    The one good thing I recognize in this is that the old Skittles site was rarely updated … at least that won’t be an issue any longer.

  • http://google.aquteintelligence.com James MacAonghus

    I am surprised by so many negative reactions. As an industry, we are always exhorting marketers to embrace social media, and always telling them not to be so conservative, so we shouldn’t jump on them just because their new tactic may be flawed. Working on the edge like this is often flawed, so what, I am sure they are monitoring it closely. Mars isn’t stupid, they know the risks, and have taken a silicon-valley attitude of fail fast and learn. Let’s give them a break and wish them well.

    And what’s with all the minor critiquing of screen resolution, clutter, etc. This is a major CPG brand thinking beyond their normal boundaries, just enjoy the experience.

  • http://www.parenttalktoday.com Kathy Sena

    Wow. What great marketing. Simple, effective, kid-friendly. Well done.

  • http://www.bluecorona.com Ben

    I don’t know about “kid friendly!” Did you read some of the tweets!?

  • http://www.wannadevelop.com wannadevelop.com

    Not the best idea.

    There are already people abusing the whole skittles convo thing.

    Too bad.

    Was a pretty cool idea though.

    Mike