Posted on: March 9, 2009

A week ago Skittles relaunched their website and it looked strangely familiar…reminiscent of Modernista’s unwebsite,’s site is merely a redirect to social networks, Wikpedia, YouTube and a couple of static pages. 

Initially, the Skittles homepage was pointed at the results page for a “skittles” twitter search but within a couple of hours there were hundreds of inappropriate tweets making onto the results page. Hilarious for those of us with a juvenile sense of humor, but probably not what Skittles had intended. They have since redirected the homepage to their Wikipedia entry, but those twitter search results are still the redirect for the “chatter” section of the site. 

There was no clear consensus within my Twitter friends if it was genius or a lame attempt to jump on the bandwagon. I can’t understand why would they attempt to feed off of a social network without someone who was actively twittering as the face of the brand? Unless of course Skittles the Cat (@skittles) is the mastermind behind the candy. 

While I applaud the attempt to “go social” and I love the idea of the unwebsite, I really don’t think that it fits with the brand of the product. Once all the attention dies down from the new site, how is the unwebsite going to further the brand, continue to build awareness or make me want some Skittles? Just because the unwebsite is a great idea, doesn’t mean its a great idea for the brand. 

You can read some great posts on the Skittles redesign here, here and here

Now if I could have had a hand in this site redo, I would have taken a look around the internets to see what people were already saying about the brand. Check out what I learned about Skittles in 5 minutes. Starting with my first two Google searchs (auto completes say a lot!):



My Google searches taught me that you can infuse vodka with Skittles pretty easily and that Relient K (a band) has a hidden song on one of their CDs called “Skittles & Combos” which encouraged fans to bring Skittles and Combos to their shows back in the day. Also, in a Simpson’s episode Homer drinks a brew called Skittlebrau which enticed a lot of people to test out beers with Skittles in them. 

Next I took a peak at some skittles data on quantcast, quarkbase and compete. What did I learn? Prior to the relaunch of their site they had about 20,000 unique visitors a month, teens 12-17 were the most common demographic and visitors were likely to visit, and 

So basically Skittles took the the opportunity at a website redesign to do a half assed social media outreach (they don’t even have a twitter account!) and ignored two really great demographics they could have done some equally cool marketing to: adults experimenting with skittles in their alcohol and music loving, game playing, money spending teens. Hell, you have a band with a hidden track that about your product! But no Skittles you went the route of “Hey, I hear this Twitter Facebook thing is catching on, how can we jump on the bandwagon to look cool?”

As a media planner/buyer and resarch lover, the part that annoys me the most is that wih 42% of your visitors under the age of 18 (and an incredibly high index for 12-17 year olds) you’ve put an age restriction on your site! 








Skittles, six months down the road when you’ve completely lost any sort of online traffic and you noticed no increase in sales due to your website redo, please contact me for a real online marketing strategy.


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