Candy-coated Kindness

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We at Brandsplat like to applaud brands of all sizes that do nice stuff for people while rocking social media marketing and online branding. So when we learned about the Skittles Mob the Rainbow campaign, we had to do a little investigating. Skittles, a product of M&M/Mars Inc., has undergone the same hip makeover as many of the company’s other products. “Taste the Rainbow” long has been the brand’s tagline; over the years, it has taken on many interpretations, from silly to surreal to strange.

Mob the Rainbow is a twist on the classic tagline featuring a call to action for Skittles fans. Although it is executed with a heavy dose of ha-ha and snark, the real power of the campaign is its underlying sincerity. Skittles launched its Facebook fans into action to help a nice guy named James. James, from Anderson, Ind., needed money to attend a college for bowling industry management. (Yes, such a thing actually exists.) James needed to get his fancy bowling degree to get one step closer to his dream of one day opening his own bowling center. His story is the kind of thing big-city folk could laugh at (and, to be fair, Skittles has fun gently ribbing the guy in the campaign’s web videos). Yet the brand ultimately delivers.

The plan was simple. Skittles asked for 100,000 likes on its Mob the Rainbow Facebook page. After reaching the goal, Skittles delivered a check for $10,000 to James. Using social media to get the word out (Skittles posted campaign videos on Facebook and YouTube) is nothing short of genius. Plus it’s the kind of story that people want to hear. Watch the video here and just try to resist smiling. I dare you. This venture accomplished a little goodwill while staying true to the brand’s tongue-in-cheek marketing tone already established.

Previous Mob the Rainbow campaigns involved sending valentines to a beleaguered parking enforcement attendant and a user-created poll to decide what the mob would do next. And now it’s your turn, readers. How can your company use social media to do good things while creating some good marketing juju? Please enlighten us in the comment section below!

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