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Have you seen Skittles.com lately? It's now an aggregation of Twitter search, Facebook, YouTube, etc... Instead of pages on Skittles.com, you essentially get pages from other social network sites, about Skittles, but at the Skittles URL.
Like the Matrix, you can't really be told. You have to see it for yourself.
People are going to have two reactions to this.
Self proclaimed social media gurus and advertising wizards are having a field day with it. They're tweeting and blogging about it left and right--causing it to shoot right to the top of the Twitter trending topics list...
...which of course means that, when I go to Skittles.com, I can go see a Twitter search page for Skittles, which is filled with links to Skittles.com... thus creating an infinite loop capable of tearing a hole in the space-time continuum, ending all life as we know it.
Way to go, Agency.com.
On the other hand, anyone not familiar with Twitter, which is probably most of the 18,000 average monthly visitors that previously came to Skittles.com and who will come to Skittles.com in the future when they hopefully change it into something less half-assed, will be seriously effin' confused. They will undoubtedly get annoyed, frustrated and leave.
The folks at Agency.com will probably get praised for being so cutting edge, even though the Skittles idea was pretty much a ripoff of the Modernista site.
Instead, they should be burned at the social media stake for promoting everything that's wrong with big companies engaging in social media.
Where do I begin?
1) Instead of reaching out into the community and showing up in our spaces, they took our spaces and brought them back to their site. Instead of sending traffic to us, they took our stuff and made it all about them.
2) Now their site is all about people talking about their site--which is kind of like bragging, in a way. How exactly does that make visiting their site a good experience? I go to Skittles to see who's talking about Skittles? Is that what I came for? If I wanted that, it'd go to Twitter search--the version without all this floating Skittles crap on top of it.
3) They didn't make it easy for the mainstream to participate. When you show up on Skittles.com, it's not obvious to the non-Twitterer WTF is going on and how you get your thoughts on the page at all.
You know what's a really great experience in comparison? Jelly Belly. Over 130k monthly vistors and the site has a ton of news, info, virtual tours. No, it doesn't have a ton of social media juice, but in terms of effectiveness, it's got 10x the normal traffic as Skittles, and, OMG, people are still Twittering about Jelly Belly even without this silly social media publicity stunt of a website. Best of all, it has tons of info about Jelly Belly, which is exactly what I expect and want when I go to the Jelly Belly corporate site.
Right now, Skittles.com isn't telling me much about the product--at least not anything more than Wikipedia was already telling me.
It isn't telling the stories of it's customers.
It isn't entertaining. Did you watch the YouTube videos? They're mind numbingly stupid.
What's the point, other than generating a lot of chatter about the campaign, rather than about the product?