Friday, March 6

23 Of Your Friends Approved This Rainbow's Taste

http://www.skittles.com/

There has been a bit of hype around Skittle's decision to go completely Web 2.0 on their brand site. In effect deconstructing and rebuilding it with content directly from consumer generated sites:


Skittles, the Mars candy brand, has adopted its Wikipedia page as its home page in an effort to give more control to consumers. The effort, via Agency.com, is a total revamp of the site and includes other social media hooks, like a Twitter section for live chats and links to Skittles pages on Facebook and Flickr.
Might want to point out that the advertising agency Modernista already took this approach with their site last year http://www.modernista.com

I'm sure the justification wavered between the cost savings (Hey! Consumers are doing all the work for us!) and the legal freak out (Hey! Consumers are doing all the work for us!). From a consumer experience standpoint, it is a complete disjointed mess -- a direct reflection of the current disarray of consumer-generated sites.

Also hard to tell if this is a one-hit fad or if other brands will follow suit. In the end, they do get credit for being the first marketer to execute it to this extent. Any fast followers will be blatantly ripping them off.

This says less about the importance of consumer generated media, and more about the lack of importance of CPG brand sites. Except for the odd coupon or sweepstakes entry, there isn't much of a reason to visit Skittles.com (or most other CPG sites out there). Long gone are the days of sticky content and repeat visitors and funny microsites.

Skittles.com isn't exactly a top destination online. Compete, Quantcast and Google Trends respectively report the most recent month's Skittles.com unique visitors as 18,000, 15,000, and too few to track. To paraphrase Kris Kristofferson, Skittles.com's just another word for nothin' left to lose.
The reality is that consumers have very little need to visit brand sites these days. More marketers should just acknowledge that, put their sites on life support, and spend their money on other parts of the Interweb.

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