Category Archives: Skittles

The little threat behind Bogusky’s open conversation

Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the agency behind the creepy King and subservient chicken, has followed Skittles by relaunching its web site as a conversational hub — 80% feeds of what others are tweeting or blogging about it. Tim Leberecht at CNET explains that this is more than a trend; it also creates a potential threat for marketers everywhere.

After all, if a conversational hub is intriguing, what happens if someone else builds one for your brand? For example, Leberecht says, imagine “if McDonald’s suddenly saw itself confronted with a site aggregating blogs, videos, news, and tweets, all about but not by McDonald’s?” Leberecht goes on to suggest brands would have little legal ground for fighting this, since they can control their own intellectual property but not the conversations compiled elsewhere.

Aggregation, it seems, opens the doors for anyone to erect an exciting hub about a topic. Google has become the world’s largest case study of offering up content without ownership. If what people say about you has become more important than what you say, what happens if someone else gains control of your conversation first?

Skittles, ‘stunting’ and sustainability

Remember when the Skittles home page became a Twitter feed and the advertising world went nuts about it? Skittles captured 1% of all Tweets. Everyone talked. Brilliant.

A few weeks pass and now Skittles is back to zero. One of our critiques of social media campaigns is too many try to either buy into human networks (paying bloggers money or gift cards or charitable hooks for written mentions) or they “stunt” their way in. Stunting means pulling off a one-time idea that goes viral out of sheer novelty, but never can be repeated.

Are any of these approaches really sustainable? And if not, what can you do to maintain a message in the online idea marketplace?