Capitalize on the Rainbow
Above and beyond the conversation of which Big Game commercial was the funniest or which one tugged at your heartstrings the most, is a title we haven’t yet considered: the winner of the Super Bowl MVP Marketing Award.
Skittles scored the winning touchdown, securing their new title with the capitalization of Seahawks favorite, Marshawn Lynch. It is a wide known fact that Lynch enjoys his “power pellets” and, leading up to Super Bowl XLIX, Skittles made sure to use this storyline to their advantage. The company secured an endorsement deal (specific terms unknown) with the famous running back and created a Limited Edition Seattle Mix bag of Skittles- only featuring blue and green candies.
To add to the sweetness of the deal, Skittles promised to donate $10,000 to Lynch’s Fam 1st Foundation for every touchdown he scored in Sunday’s game. With Lynch only scoring one touchdown in the second quarter, tying the Patriots 7-7, Skittles will be donating $10,000 to the foundation in addition to the combined amount of $15,200 from an Ebay auction. Limited Edition Skittles Seattle Mix & a Skittles Covered Football sold for $5,200 on Ebay as well as a Skittles-covered helmet and megaphone selling for $5,000.
Leading up to game day, the storyline’s effects were evident. Seattle-area stores were selling out of their Skittles inventory, the 12th man was showering Lynch in Skittles after touchdowns and food vendors even began including a side of skittles with the purchase of a “Beast Mode” burger.
An average 30-second Super Bowl commercial can cost upwards of $4.5 million and with Marshawn bringing an estimated value of $5 million to Skittles simply by showcasing the candy during the super bowl, the commercial may have paid for itself even before it aired.
How Much Does Skittles Profit?
After it’s all said and done, the excitement of the Super Bowl and Marshawn Lynch has worn off and people go back to their regularly scheduled lives, how much will Skittles profit from all this media attention? Brand value is added not just from Lynch touting a huge bowl at his press conferences but also the obsessive media coverage of the storyline. I, personally, can’t remember the last time so many people have talked about Skittles- aside from the jeering playground jokes about “Yo Momma” being so large that when she slid down the rainbow she created skittles.
While an exact dollar amount would be difficult to measure, simply consider the sheer amount of media attention the brand has garnished this past month. To create an advertising campaign of this magnitude from scratch, to recruit a famous athlete headed to the largest competitive platform of his career (that wasn’t already supporting the brand) would have cost Skittles tens of millions.
What’s the Lesson?
The lesson we learn from the tiny round candy is this: constantly be cognizant of the chance to create marketing opportunities for yourself and your brand. Be ready, in every moment, to capitalize on a story line or trending topic and use it to your full advantage. Skittles could have sat on the sidelines being content that Marshawn Lynch liked their candy and was giving them free advertising. Instead, they jumped at a monstrous opportunity to create an even bigger storyline- one that encompassed the publicity of one of the largest sporting events in the world. They welcomed, with open arms, a sports personality with a die-hard fan base behind him. They capitalized on that perfect momentous moment- one that may never come back around again.
Now, the majority of businesses aren’t going to be presented with Super Bowl/Famous Football player quality publicity with which to push a product or service, but that doesn’t mean the lesson is lost. It takes insight and vision to identify opportunities, big or small. It takes the knowledge that, at times, there’s a bit of risk involved and to go for it anyway. However, if that perfect moment does present itself, and you have the wherewithal to jump when it’s time, you could reap benefits you never imagined before. That, is the lesson that we can learn from Skittles. Not only do they have millions of people around the country “tasting the rainbow,” they have successfully capitalized on the rainbow. And, that is why they’ve won the Super Bowl MVP Marketing Award.