Super Bowl

Inside Skittles' Super Bowl Playbook: Romance and Refuted Reality

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Wrigley recently confirmed its Skittles brand would return with its third consecutive Super Bowl commercial. The colorful candy's 30-second spot has already been shot and does not feature a celebrity, Matt Montei, senior director of confections and seasonal business for Wrigley, tells Ad Age. As an official NFL sponsor, Skittles does a variety of football-themed outreach, including the Candy Bowl promotion that began this week with sibling brand Snickers.

Along with its own marketing and social posts with broad football themes, Skittles continues to cultivate connections with players who are fans of the candy. For example, Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers recently received a customized vending machine.

In the following Q&A, Mr. Montei shares more of his thoughts on why big spending on the big game still makes sense for Skittles, which already commands the leading spot in its category. Mr. Montei declined to share too many details about the spot from Adam & Eve/DDB, but said Skittles likes to use humor and "poke holes in reality" with its marketing. Skittles plans to release the spot before the Super Bowl.

(Questions and responses have been edited for length and clarity.)

When did Wrigley decide to bring Skittles back to the Super Bowl?
We decided last spring that we'd recommit to the Super Bowl. We think it's the most distinctive brand in the category, as well as being the biggest and we think part of that leadership includes investing big in some of the biggest stages like the Super Bowl.

When will the ad run in the game?
We think it's going to be in the first quarter (or) maybe early into the second quarter.

What is the theme of the spot?
We call the spot "Romance." Imagine a love story brought to you in a way that only Skittles can tell it and then you can imagine it will poke some holes in reality along the way.

Why are you working with a different DDB agency, not DDB Chicago, this time around? Are you still working with DDB Chicago?
When we need new work, we often go out and look at work globally. It just so happened in this case it was a London-based group that developed the spot. There's a lot on the line with the Super Bowl. We want to find our best ideas. We rely on DDB Chicago to go out and broker ideas and the work and use them as the conduit. DDB has been fantastic. The quality of Skittles work they've done over a number of years is well documented. We do give them the liberty to go out and find the best work. DDB is still our agency, we have no plans to change our lead agency. I would call this an exception. It's the exception, not the rule.

(Note: Agencies that work with Skittles include DDB on advertising, Fanscape on social, Starcom/Mediacom on media and Olson on PR.)

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