On May 23rd, With DDB China’s help, Skittles launched an interactive campaign in China. Titled #Can’t Eat Skittles in a Normal Way Anymore# and starring Chinese celebrity Jing Boran, the campaign went viral quickly, receiving over 20 million views on Weibo and over 80 thousand discussions under the topic.
It all started with a 15 second video produced by DDB China, in which Jing encourages consumers to film or photograph their unique or bizzarre way of eating skittles. 10 days after the release of the 15 second video, DDB and Skittles released a second 1 minute-long-remix video using the footage submitted by the consumers to showcase the special ways of eating Skittles.
With its humorous and bizarre-style-storytelling, Skittles’ campaign “Taste the Rainbow” has been one of the longest running campaign in advertising history, and was well received in the West. However in China the case was different. Not only was the number of ads incomparable to that in the West, the content was also missing the unique spice that made Skittles so popular in the West. This campaign, “Can’t Eat Skittles in a Normal Way Anymore,’ marks a change in Skittles’ tactic in China and a departure from the traditional Skittles ads.
SHP+ sat down with DDB’s creative director Shu Teoh to talk about this campaign.
SHP+: The Skittles ads were usually creative and bizarre, often there was a story-telling approach in the ads. But compared to the Western Skittles ads, the Chinese ones seem to lack some spice. This time DDB had changed their strategy to a more socially-involved, interactive way. How did this change happened?
Shu: Previous Skittles ads were usually adapted from global work without any regard to local market insights. Certain scenarios and jokes, though fairly universal, just did not create the same local resonance that it did in America, and thus did not create the same brand love in China.
So we decided to change tactics to solve the client’s business problem. It made sense to boost our social and online presence, given that most of China is on mobile and interacts with brands and friends online in an increasingly seamless way.
SHP+: How did you manage to get more people to participate and submit their own work?
Shu: We encouraged consumer participation by making the idea simple and fun to take part in. There were no complicated entry criteria, one only needed creativity, a sense of playfulness and a pack of Skittles to shoot their own ways of eating Skittles.
Having our celebrity (Jing Boran) also helped a great deal in mobilizing consumers (and his fans) to take part. We also used incentives such as celebrity giveaways (autographed items, a chance to meet celebrity in person) to further drive consumer participation and consumption.
SHP+: You’ve played around a little bit around with fans work in the 1 min ad, adding some playful elements. Can you explain a little bit about such adjustments? What were you trying to achieve?
Shu: The 1min fan work that you see is actually a piece of seeding content created internally by us to encourage consumers to submit their own works, by giving them an example and inspiration as to what is possible. We intentionally used more youthful language and imagery that allowed us to be more playful than traditional advertising allowed.
由微博用户Echo—YeYe上传的图｜Uploaded by Weibo user Echo–YeYe
SHP+: For now we only see video works. But there are also some very interesting photos submitted. Will those photos also become part of the campaign, maybe in a print ad?
Shu: Taking into account the primary Skittles consumers and their online behaviours, a conscious decision was made to avoid traditional OOH advertising (print, outdoor, magazine, etc). Future Skittles campaign executions will primarily be social and online focused, either utilising video or gifs or other popular online media formats. We’re still running the campaign and rolling out new brand content in the coming weeks. As such, we will probably see how we can use these consumer images in the future.