After three straight years as a Super Bowl advertiser, Skittles faced a daunting challenge in 2018. How could the brand, an official NFL sponsor, be as big a presence in and around the Super Bowl without shelling out $5 million to run a spot in the game?
With the right idea, could the brand steal what it had previously paid for?
Skittles made an epic, full-fledged Super Bowl ad, but instead of paying $5 million for :30 in front of 110 million people, it instead paid $0 to show it one lucky person: a California teenager named Marcos Menendez.
It was a real spot, featuring a real celebrity (David Schwimmer), but no one other than Marcos would ever see it. Seriously.
We rolled the program out in three phases, all rooted in appropriately absurd content and relentless media relations trade, business, lifestyle, sports and general news outlets.
- An absurd fake newscast announcing the idea, culminating in a highly skeptical viewer declaring that "the president of Skittles is definitely getting fired over this/'
- Four distinct teaser videos that "might be" scenes from the ad, all starring David Schwimmer.
- And finally, a Super Bowl Sunday Facebook livestream of Marcos watching the ad itself.