Even though Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch will have a lot of visibility on the Super Bowl playing field on Feb. 1, don't look for him in Skittles' commercial debut in the Big Game. Despite expectations, the running back won't be in the Mars brand's spot from DDB Chicago, even though he's become closely associated with the candy he's nibbled since he was a kid.
In the Super Bowl teaser below, which Skittles is releasing today on YouTube, the men and women of a dusty little U.S. outpost show off bulbous right arms worthy of body builders as they fix cars, cook, serve food and eat in the local diner. A ringing town bell appears to be a call to action, with the final shot showing a man hopping out of a barber's chair, ready for a fight. There is no soundtrack except for the sound of the bell and a whoop at the end. The final frames conclude with "Super Bowl Sunday" and, "It will be settled."
"While the two games settle things on the field, we'll have people in a small town settling things, and this (commercial) will be about how they do that," says Matt Montei, senior marketing director for confections at Mars' unit Wrigley. "Skittles' advertising has a legacy of being what some people call 'quirky,' although we call it 'unexpected.' Viewers will be entertained."
Skittles became a National Football League sponsor in 2014 and also entered into a partnership with Lynch and the Seahawks last year. After the team's NFL playoffs win, the brand is now creating another limited edition "Seattle Mix," featuring the team's signature blue and green colors.
The candy brand got a jump on its Super Bowl efforts when it posted an early teaser showing a Skittles-filled tailgate party in the vacant University of Phoenix Stadium parking lot, four weeks before the game in Glendale, Ariz. It used Kurt Warner, the NFL quarterback who played with the Saint Louis Rams, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals.