Corporate Eye

Skittles Website – Zany or Just Plain Crazy?

Skittles launched a new version of its website that Carole Walker, Skittles vice president of integrated marketing communications calls, “zany,” but just about everyone else calls plain crazy.

What’s the buzz about?  Rather than providing a traditional website that a consumer would expect to find after typing into their browser search bar, consumers find this…


What the heck is that, you ask?  Well, you’re not the only one. 

If the goal was to stir up a negative online buzz, then the Skittles marketing team succeeded.  If the goal was to meet customer expectations (or exceed them), as every brand’s goal should be, then the Skittles team failed.

You see, the Skittles team is trying to bring interactivity to its website by basically replacing the site with either a Twitter page (like the above version) or a Facebook page or even a Wikipedia page to which visitors can add content. 

So what do you think?  Clever, useful and whimsical as the Skittles team seems to think – or not?  I vote not. 

When a consumer visits your website, they’re looking for information.  They don’t have time to weed through a bunch of cr*p to get to the information they want or need.  Bottom-line, when your website causes consumers to stop and say, “What the h*ll is this?”  it’s not a good thing.  I’m all for adding interactivity to websites and allowing consumers to take control thereby deepening their relationships with a brand, but from the consumer perspective, my feeling is – give me the information I need, and give it to me now, or I’m going to look elsewhere.

My opinion, go back to the drawing board, Skittles. 

Your opinion?

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

I’ll second your “what the hell” with an emphatic WTF! I just “attempted” to look at the site and got their pop-up requesting I verify my age and it also contained verbage that amounted to a disclaimer about anything I might read going forward.

It’s their site and they’re trying to disavow the content before I even get there? How about controlling the content you serve up to visitors?!? I also hated the first paragraph in their disclaimer: “Hold your horses. Before you can check out, you’ve gotta tell us your age. So spill it:”, Oh, they’re so whacky and hip…I got so annoyed, I halted my expedition and turned back. If that’s what they’re trying for, they succeeded. To quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”.

I applaud Skittles for “giving power to the people” and trying something that has not been done before for a large brand. Will it be perfect right away? Nope. But, at least they tried. I also mark this as the start of Web 3.0 where organizations will start to harness the social networks and make it work for them.

What a load of rubbish. Wanted to find some info for my Son and WTF do you get, some crappy photos of boxes and not a lot of info to browse through.

What is it with skittles and body parts…is that what they are made of? that commercial with a tree growing out of a man is sick !!! but thank you for it, now I never have to buy skittles again that broke the kids from wanting them or anything that looks like them…

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