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Skittles Scores Super Bowl Win, ESPN Native Integration

Skittles, Marshawn Lynch and Scotland — how’s that for a winning formula?

Skittles is shelling out $5 million for a Super Bowl spot, so it’s hedging its bets with a clever multi-platform marketing campaign to generate buzz and momentum heading into the big game.

Skittles recently sent retired Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch to Houston, Scotland to ask residents what they felt about the Super Bowl being held there next Sunday. The hilarious video was posted yesterday on YouTube and is already at 334k views (and also #10 on YouTube’s trending video feed).

Skittles also brought the video to TV last night via a native integration with ESPN. Here’s a clip I caught on my phone of the Lynch/Skittles video being aired in-program between SportsCenter segments last night.

Bravo, Skittles. The brand is hedging ahead of the Super Bowl to win mindshare heading into Super Sunday. They surely had to pay for the ESPN integration, but I’d argue it’s well worth it. Plus, it’s in stride with what the experts say works well: Mary Scott, the president of sports and entertainment marketing agency UEG, told New York Times’ Sapna Maheshwari:

“Even though the spots have incredible viewership — as much as the game itself — you never know,” Ms. Scott said, adding that she recommends clients spend an amount equal to at least 25 percent of the cost on promotions related to their Super Bowl ad. “There’s become more of a game around the game in terms of ensuring that really pays off in a big way.”

Skittles has been ramping its TV ad spend since January 7th, according to iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention analytics from 10mm smart TV screens. After taking off the first week of 2017, Skittles has spent steadily on TV advertising to the tune of $2.65 million on three spots across 1,272 airings garnering a whopping 205,471,762 TV impressions. (See charts below.) 

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It remains to be seen where Skittles will ultimately stack up among this year’s group of Super Bowl advertisers, but the brand’s multi-platform marketing strategy appears to be on the right track.

And finally, here’s what all the fuss is about. Enjoy tasting the rainbow.