Inside//Out: Radian6
The age of Facebook vs. MySpace: February/March edition

Launched: Skittles.com

skittles.pngLaunched is a series that I am renewing to highlight practitioners who are using social media in consumer and B2B campaigns. The goal here is to cut out the theory and rhetoric and focus on real world examples of social media in action.

** Let's cut the BS on this one. I've seen a lot of people pontificate on if this launch is good or bad. Honestly, that is up to Skittles and their agency who are the keepers of the campaign objectives and analytics.

Now, on with the post. There has been a lot of buzz around the new launch of the Skittles.com website. Long story short, Skittles launched a site that uses third-party social media outlets as the base for their content. That means load up the site, you see a small Skittles widget on top of either Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr or Wikipedia. Take a look at the video to see what I mean.


[Feed readers click through to the post to see the video.]

It has certainly created a lot of initial buzz, but that seems to be quickly tailing off.

Twitter Buzz:
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Blog Buzz:
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Picture 26.pngWhat I have not seen, and this may be more telling about their overall approach, is engagement from the brand. No outreach, commentary or other follow up. That is a huge loss for the brand in extending the conversation to an even broader audience.

As I mentioned in the video, the age verification "restrics access" to the content (even though it is wide open if you go directly) if you are under 13. Via Quantcast (not 100% accurate, but picks up trends) around 16-26% of their total visitors are under 13. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Pros:


  • Very open and transparent
  • Bold move for a consumer brand (I wonder what legal said)
  • Provides easy access for customers to engage on their own platforms
  • Created buzz online (was it all echo chamber rhetoric?)

Cons:


  • Not what you would expect at Skittles.com (games, Flash video, etc.)
  • There are some usability challenges that detract from the concept
  • It has been done before (although not at the brand level)
  • Social media is susceptible to attack/fraud/defamation and, while transparent, could be of concern for a lot of companies

Key Takeaways:


  • We need to know the goals of the campaign to judge this fairly
  • Buzz has definitely picked up, I wonder if they'll be as open with their sales trend data to show results
  • Good embrace of social media (especially with a younger audience)
  • The total lack of any control is a little scary, why not pull in all of this content into a branded site? Does this form factor add or detract?
  • You need a VERY open legal team to let something like this through, with Skittles they are young, open and it may not concern them at all

What say you? Take the following poll and let me know. Is this smart, dumb or are you waiting to see?

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