TBWA\C\D Redefines Skittles’ Rainbow Theme

NEW YORK Skittles next week will begin a campaign that replaces its 10-year tagline, “Taste the rainbow,” with spots by TBWA\Chiat\Day urging consumers to “experience” the rainbow in different ways.

The three TV spots are the first work by the shop for the Masterfoods’ brand since the estimated $20-25 million account moved from BBDO in New York in January. One shows a man in a condor’s nest who is fed Skittles by the bird. Onscreen copy proclaims, “See the rainbow.” A second spot shows three teens sitting on a rainbow. When one questions the existence of the rainbow, he falls through it while his friends watch. Copy states, “Believe the rainbow.” A third shows an office worker eating Skittles as a cascade of Skittles falls down on him. “Hear the rainbow,” the text says.

The idea for the new campaign came out of teen comments about the brand, said Gerry Graf, executive creative director of TBWA\C\D in New York. Teens said they not only liked to eat Skittles but throw them on tables and hear the sound of them. They also said, “Skittles should lighten up and add a little bit more fun” to their advertising, which had “gotten a little mystical,” Graf said. Previous spots showed scenes of a fantasy world where Skittles came down like rain.

The “See the rainbow” ad with a man in a nest came from the idea of a man looking out from a mountaintop, searching for a rainbow or Skittles. But being in a mountain was too “ordinary,” Graf said, so the agency added the nest to give it a twist.

Creative directors Ian Reichenthal and Scott Vitrone served as copywriter and art director, respectively, on the campaign. The agency enlisted Ulf Johannson to direct the spots. Johannson brought a touch of reality to the outlandish scenes in the spots, Graf said. For example, he suggested they use a real condor for the nest ad, and had the teens on the rainbow sit on a rig over a cliff rather than just shooting the spot in a green room.

“Skittles owns this element of magic,” Graf said. “We wanted to take that magic and bring it into real world.”

A print component is in the works for the fall, along with a Johannson-directed spot created solely for the Web.