NEW YORK: The whole point of advertising at the Super Bowl is to find as many engaged viewers as possible. Skittles, however, created an ad for just one person, and used the mystery of the ad to find maximum earned media impact and market moving sales increases.

This is according to a new article on WARC, How Skittles found its sweet spot at the 2018 Super Bowl, which details the creation of an ad for a target audience of one: Marcos Menendez of Canoga Park, California, an ardent Skittles fan. The brand made a ludicrously expensive ad just for him. The rest of the audience, who watched on Facebook Live, or read about it, could only see Marcos’ reaction and a selection of teasers featuring David Schwimmer.

To this day, Mars and DDB Chicago maintain that, apart from the people who worked on the ad, still only its target audience of one has seen it. The ridiculously exclusive spot also picked up two Gold Lions at Cannes in June.

“When you look at the Super Bowl and the role that brands play within that moment, and you think about the scale of the marketing melee, it was one of the most obvious events for the brand to take on and shake up. Every other brand is aiming to be loved by millions. So if you're a brand that's intent on poking a finger in what's expected, you do the opposite”, Josh Drueck, Group Strategy Director, DDB Chicago, told WARC.

However, not featuring officially has some drawbacks, such as not featuring in the January announcement – traditionally a “big initial spike,” says Drueck – so the brand released a film on social channels to share the idea, with Schwimmer talking about the film that they would never see.

“We had a lot of conversation internally of how much were we willing to flex on Marcos being the one person to watch it. And the definitive answer always kept going back to: ‘If we're going to do this, let's do it properly.”’

A few snippets were later revealed: the David Schwimmer with laser eyes had a cameo role, along with Menendez’s mother. One scene was even secretly filmed in his house.

The Super Bowl delivered 1.5 billion earned impressions, and exceeded the brand’s specific earned reach goal. The ad appeared on the ‘best Super Bowl ad’ lists. Fundamentally, however, the only result that matters is sales: the ad drove a 7% uplift.

Sourced from WARC