To better represent the interest of its users, whose lives "[revolve] around social and user generated media," Skittles tore a sheet out of Modernista's playbook and relinquished control of its website.
Visits to Skittles.com drive users to the Wikipedia article about the company, with navs featured in a pop-up that explains what users are looking at (Modernista has one of these too):
"Don't sweat it, this is still Skittles.com. It just has a new twist. User this as your guide to find anything and everything Skittles that's online. Have fun."
Interesting. When Modernista surrendered itself to the Zeitgeist
, we thought the move was brave and forward-moving, not least because it nods to pure transparency. (We saw that earlier this month
, when Modernista's "n3wz" section, which points to either Google News or Google Blog Search, was deluged with articles about layoffs at the agency.)
It also opens the label up to just general meanness. Modernista hardly had its new "site" up 24 hours before Wikipedia yanked its page. Modernista.com now points to the Facebook Fan page.
Aaaanywho, the Skittles "site" model will work about the same way. The nav bar will drive you to places all over the "interwebs," including YouTube and flickr. We like that "CHATTER" points to a search for "skittles" on Summize, meaning you can read everything Twitter users are tweeting about Skittles in real-time.
UPDATE, 9:45 AM EST on 2/28/09: Skittles.com now points directly to Summize results for "skittles." Looks like Wikipedia is an equal-opportunity antagonist -- although Wiki articles are still used in the "PRODUCTS" section.
Didn't You Hear pointed us in the direction of "Fast girls, Fast cars, One wild ride" -- two sponsors' attempt to penetrate the hype wormhole opened by the Ken Block Gymkhana practice video (which is also sponsored, just less obviously).
Sports Illustrated poster girls Melissa Haro, Jessica Hart and Damaris Lewis ease into respective Nissan 370Zs and demonstrate the car's uber-fun-and-fastness by grabbing onto things, throwing their arms up and shrieking like they're on Medusa.
The 370Z is cool and all, but this whole setup feels terrifically desperate. Then again, we usually react poorly to anyone who prefaces a pitch with "They're in for the ride of their lives!"
For you intellectual sadists, there are laughs to be had in the YouTube comment stream.
- Somebody just sent us a link to KillaBanker.com, a little CafePress store where you can buy knee-jerk reactions to economic despair.
- Hanzi Smatter, a site "dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture," is hilarious. See awkward interpretation of tattoo on a model featured in AussieBum's Commando ad.
- Kellogg's brand rep suffers following Phelps fallout.
- What ho, a Dairy Queen blog.
- More jibjab over Arnell/Tropicana.
Witness with a growing sense of unease as a couple on its first date quotes lines from Romeo & Juliet.
$5 says they met on eHarmony.
"How Romeo Pulls Juliet," which vibes like a middling tribute to Baz Luhrmann's '96 oeuvre, was put together by Madeinmilan Wine. The company wanted to "tell a story about having fun with wine, indulging in intense pleasure" while incidentally promoting a suite of wines named after iconic characters, like Romeo. (There's also a bottle marked Brutus. Hrm.)
For requisite engagement purposes, check out the "wine pairing" section, where you (apparently...?) pair wine to other things, like "travel" or "chill out." (We have NO idea.)
Click on "sex" for an exciting shot of a mad couple crawling around on all fours. We're not sure why it's there, but it struck us as one of the few things worth mentioning at all.
Remember those Little Thickburger commercials from last year? Riffing off that, Hardee's launched an ad generator app so fans could create their own Thickburger comparisons.
The company expected maybe one or two to shine, but it turns out about 16 spots turned out to be broadcast-quality. (Though when you think about it, it's a pretty tough formula to screw up: [Big thing. Little thing.] Extra points for wordplay.) See them here.
"And we didn't even offer them a million dollars. Or anything for that matter," Hardee's added, puffing its chest out for extra effect.
For Dante's Inferno, an Electronic Arts video game, G-Net Los Angeles got into bed with Psyop. The natural result is an ad we suspect might be more lush than the game itself.
We could be wrong, though. Any English major will tell you Dante had a helluva good time describing Hell, and the work he did merits equal dedication from agencies, production firms and game developers alike. Still, this is just one more reason why future generations will be reading fewer books: you think CGI's had its way with women? It's bringing literature to its knees.*
Going back to the ad: like we said, it's gorgeous, but probably could've done without the toothy worm things. It's just too dental-visit-gone-wrong. And while we understand every good Hell scenario needs a bad-ass horned demon master, the one here looks too much like a Balrog.
Once something invites a comparison to LotR, even accidentally, it's gonna have trouble standing up on its own. Even if it is the bloody Inferno.
Belin Crazy Rings/Tubes/Starfish are essentially drinking snacks. We'd call them beer nuts but the branding material reads "l'apero cingle" -- aperitif snacks. Classy.
Anyway, to best target its market of casual at-home cocktailers, the French company is broadcasting this ad from its website and in banners on sites like MySpace. Our best guess is that they thought, "Drunk people engage in slightly malevolent, poorly thought-out hijinks all the time, so what if our snacks did too?!", and went zealously from there.
We have it on good authority that Nabisco's started circulating a new slogan, "Why Snackrifice?", to promote Triscuits -- and, to a lesser degree, Kraft cheese (its perfect mate).
Annoyingly, video searches for "triscuit snackrifice" or "snackrifice" yielded little more than videos produced by people that should not own cameras and a ton of Neopets-related stuff, respectively.
However, we did find a Why Snackrifice? page on NabiscoWorld, which promotes Triscuit (and Kraft!)'s health merits and pocketbook-friendliness. Also, there's a really rad shot of two women snacking responsibly while sitting in ecstatic postures normally reserved for yogurt eating. Scandale!
The Partnership for a Drug-Free America enlisted Avenue A/Razorfish to help it talk to parents about talking to their kids about drugs, I guess because the Patsy angle didn't go over so well. (Actually, this probably didn't either.)
Don't Sound Like Your Parents is the fruit of this partnership. It plays with out-of-touch parental camp ("You don't need drugs for excitement -- you can help me dust!") but it's also really candid. (Video reels depict Boomer parents that generally meant well, but for the most part failed to adequately deliver the drug talk. But hey, like the sex talk, it's a tough topic to scale.)
- zOMG: grainy shots of Ashton and Demi! This cinches it: following celebrities on Twitter is almost as rad as following them around in real life. (Diggin' how the NYT actually quotes Kutcher's tweets, as if to prove THIS IS ALL REAL.)
- Gmail went down early this morning, and it's like the universe exploded.
- We actually ate this.
- BrightKit, a management/metrics dashboard for multiple Twitter accounts, changed its name to HootSuite and went pro-bono. (That is, it's no longer trying to charge a fee for services.) To compensate, it's selling display ad space above webpages whose links are shortened via ow.ly (HootSuite's version of tinyURL) -- meaning you could, in theory, make money (or build brand awareness...?) by spreading Twittersphere link-love.
- Fake Steve Jobs makes "wah" noises over monetizing blogging.
- Coca-Cola's Urge looks suspiciously like Coca-Cola's Surge. Remember the aftertaste on that stuff?
- Wedding the Sex and the City model to kitschy "Cathy": just one more lovechild the universe didn't need. Especially in the name of Baked Lay's.
- "True statements can be libelous if published maliciously." Wait ... what?!