Skittles has relaunched its Web site, a year after the client drew criticism for having its primary online venue reflect what was being said about the brand online.
The new Skittles.com tacks away from the social media transparency approach. Instead, it loads dozens of different content elements in an effort to evoke the Internet culture defined by sites like I Can Has Cheezburger, Failblog and Awkward Family Photos.
It invites visitors to "Taste the rainbow" by scrolling down to discover content ranging from an offbeat YouTube video to a picture of a clown in an astronaut suit. All content can then be shared through Facebook and Twitter. Among the elements gone: the site's "chatter" section that featured a stream of Tweets about the brand.
Skittles and its former shop, Agency.com, came under fire a year ago for recasting the client's site to showcase the brand's social media presence via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter content. The style mimicked the approach taken by Boston ad shop Modernista! with its Web site.
Skittles Twitter application was most controversial, since it displayed an unedited feed of posts that mentioned the candy by name. Pranksters soon began posting inappropriate messages to appear on the site.
Despite the criticism, Skittles is one of the most popular brands in social media. Its Facebook page, which was prominently featured on the old site, boasts 3.6 million fans. And it has just launched a Twitter account that it is promoting on Skittles.com.
The new site, built by Brooklyn digital shop Big Spaceship, eschews typical navigation in favor of a single, endless Web page, an approach similar to a site built by Poke for U.K. telecom giant Orange in 2007.
The Wrigley's brand has also rolled out a new microsite, ShareSkittles.com, where users can contribute to a video montage of sharing the candy, and a "Mob the Rainbow" social media program that looks to activate Skittles' potent Facebook fan base into digital flash mobs. Its first challenge is expected to kick off in conjunction with Valentine's Day.
The initiatives are some of the first digital projects to come out of Wrigley's new roster of digital agencies. Last November, it replaced existing shops Tribal DDB, Agency.com and Digitas with three smaller agencies, Firstborn Interactive, Big Spaceship and EVB.
The three agencies collaborated on the Skittles work, with Big Spaceship handling Skittles.com, Firstborn building ShareSkittles.com and EVB doing the Facebook campaign.