Skittles New “Website” Leaves a Bad Taste for Some

by Kat French |

 

Kat French
Kat French

Monday the social media fishbowl was bubbling over the new “website” for Skittles, the fruity candy.

Instead of an actual website, Skittles has what appears to be a persistent widget that connects you to Skittles digital presence on several difference social media sites.  

I  say “appears to be a persistent widget” because it’s not technically a widget.  Widgets are portable–this isn’t.  The “navigation” for the new Skittles site has a widget-y look about it, though.  

The “home page” is the Facebook fan page for Skittles.  “Chatter” takes you to a Twitter search for references to “skittles” (which was promptly highjacked).  The Products pages take you to Wikipedia entries.  

There are a lot of dissenting opinions about this move as a marketing and advertising strategy.  Li Evans of Search Marketing Gurus feels that it’s a clear sign that Skittles just doesn’t get social media.  Aside from the clear invitation to spam the Twitter stream, Li feels that it isn’t really a social media campaign.

“…for it to be social media, Skittles has to be engaging in the conversation, and they aren’t. If they were truly into social media, they’d have a Twitter account, engage in the conversation…”

Other folks feel that for some brands, participating directly in the conversation doesn’t necessarily make sense.  Do you really want your candy talking to you, or do you want to talk to other folks who are craving a sugar fix?  

To be honest, I could see that working for a brand that had more daily ritual connotations.  For example a Starbucks or a Dunkin Donuts.  I don’t know too many people who go for a daily Skittles run.  Although after all that conversation about it, I was certainly craving some Tropical Fruit candy.  

Mack Collier of Viral Garden was hoping that this was just the opening gambit in a more fully-fleshed out social media campaign.  

From an SEO standpoint, it’s kind of a train wreck.  The site consists of an iframe with almost no independent content (which is what creates the illusion of a persistent widget.)  Technically, you’re not actually visiting Facebook or Twitter or Wikipedia.  You’re asking Skittles’ website to pull that site’s content into an iframe.    Although they’ll probably get at least a temporary boost from the sudden influx of traffic and links, and SEO is probably not a terribly high concern for them.  

So what do you think?  Genius or madness?  Short-sighted stunt, or the opening pitch in a longer game plan?  The comments are yours.


About the Author

Kat French

Kat French is the Client Services and Content Manager at SME Digital. An exceptional writer, Kat combines creativity with an agile, get-it-done attitude across a broad range of experience in content strategy, copywriting, community management and social media marketing. She has worked with national brands like Maker's Mark, Daytona Beach Tourism, CafePress and more.