Why the Snickers, Skittles, Mars family marketing department has it all wrong
Last week it was clear Skittles did not fully understand social media. Creating pages on each of the major platforms does not create brand value and engagement. The candy marketing department did not set goals other than (negative) exposure.
Today, NYC interactive agency Poke got hit with a cease and desist order from Snickers. Poke launched an application called Snckrz! that allowed users to create their own Snickers logo and then tweet about it. It was a huge success with over 80,000 users and many went on to visit the official Snickers site. The catch is that Snickers never asked Poke to do this. But it worked. More so than the company’s expensive Skittles initiative with Agency.com.
The lesson here: Social media is not about audience, but participation. Copyright weakens everyday on the Internet. Skittles venture was too loose because it overlooked the control factor. In Snickers case, the company should not have terminated Poke’s initiative. The two should have created a deal that placed ownership of the user generated logos into Snickers hands. That way, Snickers can monitor the production and discard any content it deems inappropriate.
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