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Skittles sweets are bought on impulse. So when the brand faced declining sales in the UK, they needed to be more top of mind with low TV-viewing millennials and improve their presence in-store.
Our unconventional strategy focussed on the retailer directly, uncovering 3 key needs when deciding which products to support – A tie-in to an occasion, buzz-worthy marketing and surprising NPD.
Our solution came from the core of the brand - the rainbow. It’s in the "Taste the rainbow" slogan, the packaging and even in the sweets themselves.
It’s our most powerful and distinctive brand asset, but we realised there was another organisation that laid claim to the rainbow - Pride.
And their rainbow –an iconic symbol on inclusion– felt more important than ours.
So to show Pride’s rainbow was the only one that truly mattered, we got undressed, dropped our colours and gave up our precious rainbow - allowing Pride’s to take centre stage.
Give The Rainbow, Taste The Rainbow
For our gesture to be meaningful, we passionately believed our support should come alive in the product, not just a communications idea.
This meant being ballsy enough to commit the biggest sin in marketing: remove our most valuable asset from our product.
In 2016 we only had a few prototype packs, so we shook our money maker at Pride in London, hoping to create enough buzz to attract a retail partner to support a full launch.
We sent an open letter to Pride In London, explaining our gesture. Then on Pride day, our black and white skittles float travelled down the central London parade route, whilst digital billboards all around showed our logo losing its colour.
The public rushed to social media, asking how to get their hands on the packs and this attracted Tesco, the country’s biggest retailer. We agreed to work in partnership to release the Pride packs across the country in 2017, with every pack raising money for LGBT+ charities.
The launch itself was an incredible result. We transformed a retailer relationship – delivering a distinctive new product, an annual, sales driving occasion each year that we could uniquely own and improved distribution in the UK’s biggest supermarket.
These were huge long-term gains, but it also delivered in the short-term. We grew volume sales, value sales and market share, earned a short-term ROMI of 142% and put on a great show of support for Pride.