In a brilliant publicity move, tonight Skittles made its website home page primarily a Twitter search on “Skittles.” (They overlay a menu that lets you get to other Skittles content, including Facebook, Flickr and Wikipedia.)
Even if they take it down quickly, everyone will be talking about it for some time to come.
Like any good publicity stunt, this required rare courage.
I’ve already read several folks putting obscenities together with Skittles (some more creatively than others), or folks just adding the word to any tweet. The conversation will be as much backlash and criticism as anything else. But the point is exactly that people are talking about what Skittles did. And any publicity is good publicity, right? You just can’t buy the kind of media this will generate.
As well, we’ll all learn something in the conversations and fallout. That alone is worth the experiment. Bravo, Skittles.
Update (9:21am Monday):
Skittles is generating so much traffic to to Twitter that users are complaining of timeouts on loading pages (and TweetSuite isn’t yet updating with all the folks who’ve been kind enough to tweet a link to this blog). I’m looking forward to hearing from @abdur, Twitter’s Chief Scientist and creator of search.twitter.com, what he thinks of all this (and whether Skittles gave him a heads up).
Update 2 (Monday afternoon):
I liked this post, inspired me to think a bit deeper and comment:
Skittles Goes Modernista! With A Distributed Experience.
So far the only comments I’ve seen out of Twitter about Skittles are:
“I am neither… there are both pro and con points” (thanks for getting back to me, Abudur!),
and Netik’s quick response to @LaughingSquid: “I don’t know what they’re thinking.”
Though one might take this status blog entry to mean that Skittles blew a fuse at Twitter’s datacenter: “We experienced a brief data center power failure this morning affecting a small number of servers. Site performance was degraded for 5 minutes.“