Skittles China 2016
In 2016, Skittles China had a problem. How to maintain the distinctive and iconic brand tone of voice that Skittles was beloved the world over for, but at the same time localise it so that Chinese consumers could finally identify with it?
Despite being one of the most famous confectionary brands in the world, Skittles was just not making enough headway into the Chinese market. With competition from more innovative Japanese and Korean brands, the distinctive Skittles voice had been lost in a sea of jargon that did not tie it back to the actual eating of the candy.
Although Chinese consumers were aware of Skittles and its colourful candies, they did not realise it was actually for eating, as all previous advertising had been focused on the funny and the weird brand personality instead. The off-kilter humour that made Skittles famous overseas did not translate in China. The wordplay and black humour was also completely lost on Chinese audiences.
Thus, we had to go back to the simple and universal core values of Skittles to help Chinese consumers understand it.
To help reposition and relaunch Skittles to Chinese consumers, we came up with the new brand tagline of "You are how you eat" (the Chinese line "豆知道你是谁" uses a wordplay that back translates to "Skittles/We know how you eat") which neatly tied the campaign back to the act of eating the candy itself.
We then created a varied cast of funny Chinese characters who showed off their own unique way of eating Skittles. This tapped into existing Chinese online behaviour of creating funny slang names for stereotypical habits. 加班狗, 学霸, 土豪 (Overtime Dog, The Study-holic, Nouveau Riche) were just a few of the eccentric characters that we created.
We also leveraged a hugely popular up and coming celebrity (or “fresh meat” 小鲜肉) Jing Bo Ran 井柏然 and his devoted fan base to help us create more noise and traction.
Online Brand Video (OTV/pre-roll)
Online Seeding Video (weibo)
We subtly redesigned the campaign typography to bring out the quirky aspects of the brand and really grounded the overall campaign back to the recognisable Skittles red.
These elements were then carried through seamlessly with our online video, instore point of sale, limited edition Olympic packaging (to unofficially leverage the biggest event of the year), as well as lots and lots of social content posts.
Key Visual 1
"The Super Fan" using our celebrity Jing Bo Ran
(adapted to numerous in-store and online media)
Key Visual 2
"The Study-holic" (also adapted to numerous in-store and online media)
We had a great result!
With no ATL media spend at all (no TV or cinema, only digital pre-rolls), during the campaign, we got over 1 billion hits on Weibo with our hashtag #再也不能正常吃糖了# (translation: "Never eat candy normally again") just from our social media campaign and tons of online noise from Jing Bo Ran’s fans, all submitting their own kooky ways of eating Skittles.