Skittles Is Auctioning Off Custom-Made Prizes, and You Bid With Facebook Likes

Oil paintings, guitars and more

"Bidding stands at 20 Facebook likes. … Who'll give me 21? Going once, going twice … sold for 20 likes to the man with his face buried in a bag of Skittles!"

It's true: the Mars candy brand, via BBDO Toronto, is hosting an online auction in which Facebook likes are the currency. Fans compete by amassing likes for bids they can place on a veritable rainbow of Skittles-branded prizes.

You must be a Canadian resident to participate. (Canada's clearly in vogue at this marketing moment … first Loverboy and now this.)

Current items up for bid include a Green Apple Soccer Ball, Strawberry Skittles Headphones, a Lemon Skittles Vase, "Orange Skittles Oil on Canvas" (an objet d'art, which is described as "eye candy painted by the famous Citrussio"), and, most impressively, a Grape Skittles Acoustic Guitar.

"Every item was specially made for this auction," says BBDO vp and associate creative director Chris Booth. "We wanted consumers to have something they can keep forever that also channels the humor of the brand."

Launched in May and running through Aug. 6, the contest features new merchandise each week. So far, the most "expensive" item was an Orange Skittles Lamp, which sold for 483 likes. (Most items auctioned off have had a much lower sweet spot.)

Creating a campaign where users compete for Facebook likes might've been innovative a few years back, but it seems almost retro today. However, simplicity is a strength, because it makes the contest more immediately accessible than, say, BBDO's faux-pyramid-scheme promotion where the prize was 1 million Skittles delivered to some lucky Canadian sugar-fiend's door.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.