Skittles is headed to the upcoming Super Bowl, where it will appear in a commercial during the big game for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter.
Wrigley parent Mars Inc. is a regular Super Bowl advertiser that has typically showcased brands from its North American chocolate division, such as M&Ms or Snickers, and the company is expected to continue that strategy in this season's championship game. So the Skittles ad would represent additional Super Bowl spending by Mars. BBDO New York is the creative agency for M&Ms and Snickers, while DDB Chicago handles Skittles.
NBC is fetching roughly $4.5 million per 30-second spot, according to Seth Winter, exec VP-sales and sales marketing, NBC Sports Group. Skittles would count as one of the roughly dozen rookie Super Bowl advertisers expected to appear in the 2015 game broadcast. Other newcomers include Loctite, the maker of Super Glue, and web development platform Wix.com.
For Skittles, the Super Bowl ad would continue its relatively new football marketing push. Snickers has been an NFL sponsor since 2003, and earlier this year Mars added Skittles to its NFL sponsorship roster.
Skittles was a big winner in last season's Super Bowl even though it did not run an ad because Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch is a notorious Skittles fan. His love of the candy resulted in free media attention that Kantar Media estimated at the time to be worth up to $5 million. The running back in late January cashed in on his Skittles obsession by striking a deal with the brand that included limited-edition "Seattle Mix" packs featuring the Seahawks blue-and-green colors.
Although Mr. Lynch is associated with the brand, there are no indications at this point that he would star in a Super Bowl ad. At present, his team is fighting for a playoff spot with a 6-3 record. Of late, Skittles TV advertising has leaned toward quirky executions, like a spot featuring a pet cloud that rains Skittles.