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Skittles: Tasting the Rainbow of Social Media Tools

Since Managing the Gray has not been updated since May 5, I went back through some of the older posts and found a great example of a brand utilizing social media. In his March 3 podcast, C.C. Chapman speaks a little bit about the new Skittles website and what he thinks of it.

 If you haven’t seen it, it’s a very interesting site for those interested in social media. When you first enter it asks for your birth date. Once entering the site you’ll notice that it’s set-up directly from YouTube.  Apparently the site is to change to follow the social media tools talking about Skittles. When Chapman did his podcast in early March the site opened on a Twitter page. An article on Clickz: News and Expert Advice for the Digital Marketer says that the site will utilize Facebook, Wikipedia and Flickr as they have YouTube and Twitter.

 A quote from MARS (who owns Skittles) spokesman Ryan Bowling says,  “In this day and age, where the consumer is extremely influential, the content for our Web site is really based off consumer chatter and beliefs about our brand.” He goes on to say that by directing consumers to these social media sites, he is showing them what people are saying about the brand and not what the organization itself is saying about the candy.

 In Chapman’s podcast, he seems a little hard on the site. He questions why they would ask consumers to enter their date of birth and wonders whether or not this new format is a little to tech-savvy and confusing for most consumers.

In response to his critiques about age, the Clickz article states that he site requests users to input their dates of birth due to a company-wide policy. Bowling says “We don’t market to anyone under 12 years old. That age screener is to enforce that marketing code.” This makes sense as social media sites are often not censored.

 I also disagree with the notion that it would be confusing for most users. Skittles is utilizing the most popular and viewed sites on the Internet today. These sites are intentionally made to be straightforward so the general populace of Internet users will be able to navigate them. I would actually go so far as to say that this format is even helpful to consumers as the site is in a format already quite familiar to them.

 Thinking about this idea in relation to social media marketing as a whole I have some reservations. I think it works well for Skittles because it is a fairly new idea. If more brands were to do it I think it would lose its appeal. To me social media is all about coming up with the latest idea and using new technologies in an innovative way for your brand. Skittles has certainly done that. As Chapman says in his podcast, it’s about the buzz- and in the world of social media, there is certainly nothing wrong with creating some buzz.

 Please check out the site. I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

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May 31, 2009 - Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | , ,

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