Skittles’ Dazzle the Rainbow Campaign — Learn Social Media By Example

Social Media Campaign Stat Box

: Dazzle the Rainbow

: Products and services


: Facebook, Youtube

: Skittles' Fans

: Fun, humor

: October 18, 2010

: 24 hours

Embracing alternative product uses and taking in to the next level, Skittles rolls out its latest social media marketing campaign: “Dazzle the Rainbow”.

Dazzle the Rainbow is simply a challenge in which Skittles fans are asked to bury a man named David Phoenix in a vat of the sugary candy.

Campaign Idea & Objectives:

The challenge was kicked off on October 18th,2010 at 12 noon, UK time. It featured the ballsy Phoenix, who has announced his intention (via a series of videos) to survive being buried by more than 2 million Skittles.

Skittles fans had to head to Facebook on that day and tune into the live stream, which simply caused more and more candy to rain down on Phoenix every 15 minutes. Apparently, 3.7 million Skittles were lying in wait, and the only way to release them is to grab the eyeballs of more and more fans.

Dazzle the Rainbow with David Phoenix

So, who is David Phoenix? According to a Skittles rep, “David Phoenix is incredibly talented and dangerously handsome. He knows the meaning of life, but has told no one and he has read the Internet (Internet), his notes are what you call ‘Google (Google).’ He is a man hell bent on victory against the Skittles fans.”

Buzz Generated:

Tens of blog posts were written about the campaign and the number of “likes” on Skittles’ Facebook Fanpage campaign is growing with 1,450,000+ likes so far.

However, and since metrics such as live stream viewing figures and shares are not yet available, YouTube viewing figures (around 10,000 combined), comment and ‘like’ numbers suggest that Skittles did not leverage a large proportion of their 1.3 million existing fans. Wonder why?

Campaign Reactions:

The campaign reactions varied greatly! Some people loved and enjoyed the campaign and the submerging of David Phoenix, others thought it was a waste of time. Here are some reactions as I found them:

  • It’s a very tasty — and stress relieving — take on social online marketing.
  • Skittles have the opportunity to do a lot more with their large, engaged community and it feels like they’ve missed the boat a little here. Katy Daniells
  • The playful campaign was well-pitched, shamelessly stealing the ‘macho guy’ theme from Old Spice, livestreaming the carnage and providing excellent build-up and post-event content. IAB UK Social
  • It would be great if we can actually view the live stream. I think there’s way too much traffic right now. It’s not loading on FB. Cool stunt though. Shows that the whole Twitter fiasco has been long forgotten.

Opinion & Lessons Learned:

I think the campaign should have been able to get more positive feedback than it actually did. For one thing, the brand is Skittles and they have already achieved great social media successes before. Two, it is an interactive campaign so it should have been more attractive to Skittles fans!

So what can we learn?

  • What works for a one company might not work for you! The Skittles’ campaign was trying to make use of the success that the Old Spice Campaign achieved. It rolled out a series of videos with a macho man, David Phoenix, as the main and only character. However, the reactions of the fans were definitely not the same.
  • Interactive does not always translate into interaction. Although the campaign was interactive, it didn’t really get a lot of interaction from the fans.
  • The bigger the company, the higher the fans expectations. Maybe the campaign would have had more success if another company had launched it: a smaller company with less social media fans and influence.

So, finally and to wrap up, I would like to ask you a few questions:

What do you think of the “Dazzle the Rainbow” campaign? Did you participate in it? What could have they done differently to get higher engagement stats?

Looking forward to your feedback down below…

: 3/5
: 2/5
: 3/5
: Yes
: 4/5

Comments and Reactions

  • Amer Kawar

    Weird, when I started reading, I was expecting to read about an amazing success. Maybe if they added: “Win a lifetime of free skittles delivered to your door step” as the prize?

  • M.Bamieh

    in the age of the internet they are asking for my attention to be focused on one window at a specific time? Are they crazy? I'm way too ADHD to even remember such a thing.

  • Dave

    I loved it! The main clincher for me though was Scotty “The Commentator” Wilson. That guy was a comedic genius! I was mainly watching just to hear the extremely funny remarks from Scotty!

  • Mikeoa2001

    Great analysis! Given Skittles inventive and highly clever ad campaigns of the last decade, this campaign is poorly designed on almost every level.

    The challenge is not compelling (in part because it isn't clear) the 'wacky' quotient is low, product is hardly visible (push up scene), and the look/feel of the ad is poorly chosen departure from skittles ads. Skittles vs man? Why?

    They could have so much more utilizing Twitter and foursquare, or multiple competing characters in Facebook with the prize being anointed protector of skittles or something more comprenhendable than a dude fighting a tiny inanimate candy.

  • Beiruta

    I really enjoyed reading your comment :) Stay tuned for more analytic posts of past and present campaigns here on Thoughtpick!

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