Instead of an actual website, Skittles has what appears to be a persistent widget that connects you to Skittles digital presence on several difference social media sites. Â
I Â say “appears to be a persistent widget” because it’s not technically a widget. Â Widgets are portable–this isn’t. Â The “navigation” for the new Skittles site has a widget-y look about it, though. Â
The “home page” is the Facebook fan page for Skittles. Â “Chatter” takes you to a Twitter search for references to “skittles” (which was promptly highjacked). Â The Products pages take you to Wikipedia entries. Â
There are a lot of dissenting opinions about this move as a marketing and advertising strategy. Â Li Evans of Search Marketing Gurus feels that it’s a clear sign that Skittles just doesn’t get social media. Â Aside from the clear invitation to spam the Twitter stream, Li feels that it isn’t really a social media campaign.
“…for it to be social media, Skittles has to be engaging in the conversation, and they aren’t. If they were truly into social media, they’d have a Twitter account, engage in the conversation…”
Other folks feel that for some brands, participating directly in the conversation doesn’t necessarily make sense. Â Do you really want your candy talking to you, or do you want to talk to other folks who are craving a sugar fix? Â
To be honest, I could see that working for a brand that had more daily ritual connotations. Â For example a Starbucks or a Dunkin Donuts. Â I don’t know too many people who go for a daily Skittles run. Â Although after all that conversation about it, I was certainly craving some Tropical Fruit candy. Â
Mack Collier of Viral Garden was hoping that this was just the opening gambit in a more fully-fleshed out social media campaign. Â
From an SEO standpoint, it’s kind of a train wreck. Â The site consists of an iframe with almost no independent content (which is what creates the illusion of a persistent widget.) Â Technically, you’re not actually visiting Facebook or Twitter or Wikipedia. Â You’re asking Skittles’ website to pull that site’s content into an iframe. Â Â Although they’ll probably get at least a temporary boost from the sudden influx of traffic and links, and SEO is probably not a terribly high concern for them. Â
So what do you think? Â Genius or madness? Â Short-sighted stunt, or the opening pitch in a longer game plan? Â The comments are yours.