I might as well jump on in, since everyone else has, regarding the new “social” makeover of

I’m not one to talk about my day job here, but I have a little bit of experience in the social media space, just don’t call me an “expert”, “maven” or “guru”. I start hearing Carly Simon when people bandie about those terms.

Other folks – Dave Armano, Buzz Marketing Daily, Remco Kroes, Dale Larson – and media outlets – AdAge, MediaPost, AdRants – have done the best job of recapping and providing thorough insight, so I’ll just ask a few questions.

  1. What was the goal of this campaign? Conversion to Facebook friends? Gross number of “tweets”? YouTube video views? Publicity/Press?
  2. My guess is the last one. I think the rest is just gravy and not the point of taking your entire brand to a “crowdsourced” model.

  3. Will the redesign affect sales and should it be judged against such a “hard” metric?
  4. I don’t think anyone bought Skittles as a result of this stunt, and that’s how I view this: a flash in the pan and not something that’s a part of social media strategy

  5. What am I supposed to learn/glean/experience from the redesign?
  6. That some folks really dig Skittles enough to blog/tweet/photograph Skittles? That Skittles has a branded YouTube channel? (Big woop! Who doesn’t? That they don’t have their own Twitter account and encourage the use of a lame web-based feedback form.

I can’t believe I’m saying this actually, but where is Skittles in this conversation? What do they want of their customers? What are their expectations?

Do they want us to buy more? Eat more? Tweet/blog more?

Where is the connection to a contest or sweeps where I get free Skittles if I take “x” action, where “x” is something social?

Where is Skittles telling us how much it loves us/hates us/is ambivalent towards us?

I’m really baffled by the long-term prospects of Skittles in the social space and I’d love for them to prove me wrong.

They’re not a Zappos or Dell or H&R Block (sorry for all the Twitter examples) or any number of companies who use social media to energize, engage, converse and grow with their customers.

This stunt by seems like a thought experiment taken to its illogical conclusion. It says, “we’re going to hold up a mirror to all this social stuff, but don’t look behind the curtain.”

I suppose people who like this sort of thing – and maybe even Skittles themselves – would say that it’s really the customers who were always at the heart of the brand.

I say that what would really make me involved, make me buy Skittles, eat Skittles and regularly tweet Skittles, was knowing that I was really involved in their brand and not just a sideshow act in a social media circus tent.

But what do I know? I’m blogging Skittles where before I wouldn’t have. But I’m still disappointed.

Comments welcome and encouraged. Tell me how/when/where/why I’m wrong.

2 thoughts on “

  1. Anne Fitzgerald says:

    Hey Seth,

    Yep, I play in the social media realm in my day job, too, so everyone’s been abuzz over the Skittles nonsense. My take is that, like the free Denny’s breakfast, it won’t result in sales.


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