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TBWA Reworks Skittles' Rainbow Connection

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Believe the rainbow.
In its first campaign for Skittles since taking over the account in January, TBWA/Chiat/Day/New York takes the brand's longrunning tagline -- "Taste the Rainbow" -- in a new, offbeat direction. "Everybody knows the tagline, and you don't want to walk away from that," says Chiat/Day ECD Gerry Graf, who -- like the candy account -- arrived from BBDO earlier this year. "In some ways it makes it tough, but in some ways it's easier, because you don't have to explain everything. People already know that there is an element of magic there."

In Chiat's three new spots, the magic no longer takes place in a world of lush effects, however, but in places like an office breakroom, where we see a man being followed by a rainbow that pours Skittles down on his head. "One thing we learned from talking to 15- and 16-years-olds is that Skittles can't take itself too seriously," says Graf. "You can see that in the new work." Two more spots, also directed by ex-Traktorite Ulf Johansson, feature surreal -- but ultimately comic -- scenes in which a grown man waits to be fed Skittles by a giant bird and a trio of average teens are seen casually sitting atop a rainbow. "The whole idea was to bring Skittles' magic and fantasyland stuff into the real world," Graf says of the campaign's lack of the pyrotechnic, and often somberly mystical, effects that marked previous ads. "Ulf's style was good for that. It doesn't look like a Disney movie. It's realistic."

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