The Ad Not Heard Around the World

Did you see the Super Bowl ad for Skittles this year?

Rather, did you not see it? That’s because our TVs went black—on purpose.

Thanks to the very expensive spot Skittles paid for we all heard a bit of silence during one of the loudest moments on TV. Well except for the one kid—yes, one—in the target demographic that got the exclusive premiere. The idea was that that lucky kid would lead the growth of the ad through organic, viral growth online.

Advertisers love to push the envelope and be completely different from the norm. But the big question everyone is asking: Did it pay off? The day after the Super Bowl, combined video views were under 100k on their Facebook page, and they’ve only gotten more media traction since. But does that compare to the lost opportunity to speak to the 103.4 million who tune in to watch the big game?

Looking at the numbers presented the day after, I judge it as an interesting idea and a missed opportunity.

Why? Most people didn’t understand what happened. They thought it was an issue with their service provider, yelled and banged on their TV a few times and once it re-appeared they did not care.

To make this work, Skittles needed to control the conversation on all other mediums—I’m talking on top of the multi-million dollar spot, negotiate with Facebook an exclusive five-minute-only Skittles ad spot across the U.S. on both Facebook and Instagram. Take over Snapchat so the only filter available is one that makes you Taste the Rainbow. Tag every possible hashtag in a Skittles ad so it appears in all searches. If you’re going to break the TV you have to break the internet, because our attention span is too short to care.

P.S. Fly Eagles Fly!