Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Skittle Skat

A friend of mine had sent me a link to the Skittles website yesterday. I figured this link would perhaps bring me to the website and show me the creation of a new flavour, a new packaging or a new partnership. However, instead it was something quite different. The skittles company has changed their website into their twitter page. By doing this when you log onto the website you are required to tell whether you are over the age of 18 (because skittles are quite scandalous), and then a twitter page pops up and a smaller navigating box stays in the left hand corner. This small box allows you the options to go back to home, games, learn about the company etc., quite the same type of stuff that is found on a typical page, however this information is now taking a back seat to the twittering that is happening on the main page. The main question to ask is, is this PR ploy risky or rewarding? When reading the twitter posts it is hard to tell. For example, some people enjoy the opportunity to tweet about skittles and express happiness with the product, while others take the opportunity to cut it down and insult the PR tactic that has been used. However, although there may be some bad publicity being brought up, the point is that it has got people talking. There are skittles conversations happening all over the place. Thus, the tactic has reached its goal, and therefore created a buzz around the product.

As well I believe this ploy does a good job or marketing towards an older age group. Using the frequently used social media Twitter, it allows the company to target adults as opposed to young children and broaden the interest in the product. It's even got me blogging about it!

Although it is risky I think it was a positive risk for the company because it brought the product into public interest, even if just for a short period of time.

What are your thoughts?

Risky or Rewarding?

1 comment:

Mike said...

I went to their site, i see this as less of a PR stint, but more of a poor decision. Skittles has no website now, just a facebook page a twitter page and a link to their wiki page. They could have all of these things and still have a website. A website is one of the most important was to advertise and interact with your consumers these days, so it's senseless to get rid of it. It may have more people interacting with skittles over the interwebz but this will not mean more sales for sure. I also don't think people are talking, this is the first i've heard of this, and from a business prespective it seems like such a dumb idea.
If they want to market towards an older age group they have a facebook page, and a twitter account without getting rid of their web page. They can't even really advertise their website now on other sites as they don't have a website anymore.
I think the problem is PR people tend to see marketing as advertising, but advertising is one aspect of promotion, and promotion is only one forth of marketing (or one of the 4 P's).