I read an interview some time ago where the NY Times head of digital strategy was quoted as saying something like “All marketing has already been outsourced to the consumer.”
Skittles seem to be set in proving the point. The company has replaced their entire web presence with links to social media sites.
At the moment, going to the Skittles website takes you to a Twitter stream of Skittles-related comments. However, the social media thread doesn’t stop there.
This is not the first time that a brand has embraced web services and social media. The Boston-based advertising agency Modernista! pioneered the idea, by directing all website inquiries to entries in search engines and social media sites. The sole concession is a tiny navigation bar, directing the visitor to the agency’s offerings.
So is this done “…to better represent the interest of its users, whose lives [revolve] around social and user-generated media”, as per the Skittles publicity blurb? Is it a brave, new(ish) direction in embracing the crowd-sourcing power of social media? Or is it pretty much just another take (albeit fresh and fun) on established viral marketing methods? I have my doubts that the whole thing is anything more than a (well executed) publicity stunt, and that the ‘old’ website will be back with us soon.
Whatever the truth, it’s certainly getting them talked about. Well done!