Skittles Wikis Its Home Page

NEW YORK Skittles, the Mars candy brand, has adopted its Wikipedia page as its home page in an effort to give more control to consumers.

The effort, via, is a total revamp of the site and includes other social media hooks, like a Twitter section for live chats and links to Skittles pages on Facebook and Flickr.

“We are leveraging what we think are the key consumer social media touch points,” said Carole Walker, vp, integrated marketing communications for the brand. “Wikipedia is a definition of what the brand actually is.”

The effort underscores Skittles’ brand positioning, which Walker said was “a border zone . . . Skittles lives in a world that is unexpected.” In the past, that positioning has been reinforced with wacky ads from TBWA\Chiat\Day, but the site aims for a similar level of zaniness. The nutrition section of the site, for instance, is under the header “other gobbledegook.”

Walker acknowledged that there’s opportunity for consumers to vandalize the site and said the brand would monitor comments. “I would expect that users would contribute in a positive way, but we could always take [negative or obscene comments] down if there’s an issue,” Walker said.

While Skittles may be the first brand to turn its Web site over like this, the Boston ad agency Modernista! beat it to the punch last March by making its Web site a search engine redirect — a Google search would take you back to Google but with a red navigation bar at the top. Subsequent iterations of the site have emulated Wikipedia and, currently, Facebook.