Wednesday, September 21

Skittles and the Refugees

Let me first say that I am only commenting on this situation from a marketing perspective. That's all folks. And I find it fascinating, albeit certainly the real issue is far more serious than any bit of marketing.

With that said, what's a brand to do when it's suddenly caught in the cross fire of a no-win political issue?

Evidently Donald Trump's son sent out a tweet comparing Skittles (as in the candy) to the Syrian Refugees.

You literally can't make this up.

Now, truth be told, Skittles isn't the first brand to either voluntarily or involuntarily jump into a social debate. And in fact, it's not the first time for Skittles either. Back in 2012, Trayvon was holding a bag of Skittles when he was shot, propelling the brand into the news instantaneously.

Like then, the brand handled this issue with such care and professionalism and tact and composure...I can go on and on. Here was their response to one of several inquires from the media, that then spread into social media:


Bravo! And a lesson for us all in understanding who we are as a brand and our role in people's lives. And when we should comment and when we should just let it be.

Of course, the original tweet and the response took on a life of its own...giving Skittles more exposure than they could ever imagine. And I'm sure not the kind of exposure they want. At all.


In some ways, this is what happens when your brand is an iconic part of pop culture. How they chose to handle the situation is what keeps them there.

What's your experience?  JIM.

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