Skittles: Having the Blues Can Cause Huge Facebook Fan Involvement

The Cannes Lions festival is at its highest these days with the last award winners being announced tomorrow, Saturday, June 23rd. Browsing through the shortlist of amazing cases in the category “Best Consumer Engagement”, I found a Bronze Lion awarded campaign by TBWA London – Skittles Blue . An interesting case because of its concept of content sharing and user involvement.

Skittles, with a Facebook page of more than 2.5 million fans at the start of the campaign, saw a demand for a blue coloured Skittle. The company decided to produce and launch the new colour and with the help of Facebook as the main campaign hub to create attention and buzz around it. The main purpose of the Skittles Blue campaign was to launch a new colour of Skittles’ sweets and to create a hype in the UK market of people increasingly eager to buy it.

Starting out by showing behind-the-scene photos from the factory, Skittles involved fans in the production of the new sweet. Continuously, they shared the steps of how the new sweet was going to be launched. Videos and photos showed a smooth launch of a new product – right up until the point of transporting it from the factory in Czech to the UK market. This was when Skittles really made an effort of involving their fans.

Skittles featured videos of the man behind the delivery: a truck driver who decided to stop the launch because he felt that nobody cared about him. He was having the blues, so to speak. Skittles encouraged their fans to show the truck driver some love through liking the Skittles updates about the truck driver. These likes would then motivate him to continue his journey and get the new blue Skittles to the UK. People could follow the truck driver’s journey on an interactive map on a tab on the Skittles Facebook page and follow his posts on whether he felt like executing the launch of the blue Skittle or not.

The campaign hyped the launch of the blue Skittle enormously. When it was finally launched in the stores, it was sold out in 3 weeks. Having Facebook as the main hub for the camping drove 500,000 new fans to the page. After the campaign, the Skittles sales went up 29.9%, proving that social media channels such as Facebook can create fantastic marketing results when user involvement is taken seriously.

Create a reason for people to participate
By having a character to follow and involving fans in the process of launching a new product, Skittles created a feeling of community belonging amongst fans. The campaign had a strong entertainment element that encouraged fans to follow the campaign and engage for the sake of having the new sweet launched.

It is genius to have a viral tactic where people have to like posts in order to motivate the truck driver to go further. A like is not just between the brand and a fan – the like will be visible for the fans’ friends, which then creates an organic spread of content.  Not only did Skittle involve people through their “likes”, personal responds was also made to individual fan comments.

When you do your social media strategies, remember to put effort into the human aspects. Give people a reason to be a part of your brand.

The Importance of Local Activation on Social Media: West Africa/Nigeria

The Mindjumpers Network is still going strong. It’s our own ever-growing global network of Local Social Media Managers around the world who help us ensure contextually relevant content through social listening, content production or response management. The network is filled with talented people who possess great knowledge of social media in their local context and we would like to share some of their great insights with you. This very first post is written by Chinwe Obinwanne, Local Community Manager from Nigeria and part of the Mindjumpers Network.


Statistics show that Nigeria has over 60 million internet users; a huge leap from the 57.7 million users it had in 2014. A number that is estimated to almost double in the next five years.

I’m one of these users living in Nigeria and I’ll tell you how we use the internet socially to push a campaign here in Nigeria.

While we do a whole lot with and on the internet, we spend a good portion of our time on the social platforms. Social channels like Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Youtube and some others come to mind as platforms that we use to make even the silliest thing go viral in a matter of minutes. All there needs to be is relevance. I’ll explain.

When we (Nigerians) deem something relevant, we make so much noise about it that even the deaf have no choice but to hear.

Things that interest us and engage us socially range from entertainment, football, politics, fashion, gossip, comedy to the downright unexplainable(s) such as reliving memories of the high school past ( as seen in the twitter trend #secschoolinnigeria or the woes of being a man in Nigeria (as made popular by the hashtag #beingamaninnigeria) to name a few.

Second to relevance, influencers play a key role in taking a campaign or cause viral. Take for instance the Nigerian 2015 elections; Nigerians needed a change and we along with social media influencers, utilized the one tool that we could all use irrespective of class or social status to get it; the tool was social media.

The social channels rose up to bridge the communication gap. The social media platforms gave a voice to every Nigerian.

Today, Nigeria is governed by the APC party. A victory that was achieved to a very large extent by the active campaign of young Nigerians on twitter.


Brands move in on the Nigerian social media

Smart brands listen and monitor moods and changes in the social sphere of their target regions before launching their products or services.

Doing this, especially while utilizing local social managers who are in these regions and swim in the ever-changing tides of situations, ensures that the brand is communicating to the people through the channels they use, in the voice and language they understand, through the people they listen to.

An example of this is in the recent successful viral Millionaires campaign by Peak Milk starring comedian-come-musician Falz and actor Igwe Tupac in Nigeria via Instagram, Youtube and Facebook. This campaign was a huge success because the brand keyed into our desire and love for humour. The same can be said of the Etisalat ad campaign featuring funny actor, Francis Odega.

Let’s take it to twitter for a moment where a United States company successfully pulled off a social campaign in Nigeria.

The hashtag #thingsilongthroat trended for several days in Nigeria. No one knew that it was a campaign by Pepsi to promote the launch of the 60cl bottle and endorsement of female artiste Seyi Shay. This time, they used their Nigerian celebrity ambassadors Seyi Shay, Wizkid and Tiwa Savage (Nigerian musicians) to introduce the trend on twitter. Blogs and online news websites published articles of the hashtag trend and it went viral like wild fire.

These brands understood the importance of using humor to pass a message in the voice and language (Pidgin English and slangs) we understood, using the people we love (The comedians and musicians) through the channels we communicate (Facebook, Instagram, twitter, Youtube).