2018 winner, Skittles, bravest brand - case study

2018 winner, Skittles, bravest brand - case study

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Breaking conventions with pride

This paper is about breaking conventions. The conventions of the agency model, the conventions of branding and now the conventions of effectiveness case studies. This was not just an advertising campaign, but an idea that changed everything from production techniques to retailer relationships and won awards for everything from packaging design to activation events.  But increasingly, this is what truly transformative communication ideas need to do.  To reach beyond the confines of advertising and influence every aspect of a business.  So we won't be excluding things like distribution changes from our results. Instead, we will prove that these impressive business changes were driven directly by our advertising idea.

Skittles have built a beloved brand on the back of consistent investment in distinctive TV advertising. However, by 2015, Skittles UK were facing two key challenges that couldn't be tackled by their conventional marketing approach.

  1. Struggling to engage millennials: Shifts in viewing behaviour meant that their TV led communications were struggling to reach enough of the Millennial target audience, who were vital for the long term health of the brand.
  2. Losing shelf space: With many supermarkets looking to cut back on all but the biggest confectionary products, brands like Skittles were facing shrinking shelf space and losing placements altogether. As an impulse purchase, our impact in store is vital to converting hungry shoppers.

The objectives for the brand were significant.

Drive retailer desire and support for Skittles: Giving them a reason to get excited about our brand, so that they would…

Improve distribution and store positions: Providing improved visibility in store, which would help us to convert impulse purchases – as long as we could…

Build fame and love for Skittles amongst young adults: Keeping our brand top of mind, to prime them when entering stores and help us to deliver…

A sales and share uplift: With declining net sales value and share of market, we had to not only arrest our falling sales, but outperform our competitors, who were fighting for the same impulse buyers.

These were big and unwieldy objectives. So big in fact, that our agency didn't receive a brief to tackle them. These kind of challenges would conventionally require a long term response, involving everyone from the NPD team to retail relations. However, we spotted one objective that we felt could unlock

This entry was highly commended in the brand activation category.

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(Please note: parts of this case study may have been redacted for confidentiality purposes.)

Author: The Marketing Society
Posted: 14 Jun 2018
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