Were you a skittles fan as a child? Or even as an adult? The vibrant-colored candies were introduced in the U.S. in 1979. Campaigns like “Taste the Rainbow” made the brand popular, but the chewy treats are rising to fame yet again – this time because of their trip to space. (That’s right, space).
See how their suborbital trip with the richest man in America boosted the brand on social media.
Skittles content volume soars
Skittles were on board Jeff Bezos’ inaugural trip to space. The Amazon founder soared off in a rocket with a four-person crew on July 20, 2021, the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He was joined by his brother, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer, and 18-year-old Dutch physics student, Oliver Dameon.
While onboard, Bezos asked the crew a simple question, “Who wants a Skittle?” Within seconds, he starts floating rainbow-colored candies to Dameon, who catches them in his mouth while suspended upside down in zero gravity.
The New York Times shared a video of Bezos sailing a Skittle through the air to Dameon. Listed as the youngest person to travel to space, Dameon can also add “Zero G Skittles Catcher” to his resume.
Check out the post of the crew tossing a ball around and then enjoying some Skittles.
The 10-minute flight was a big win for Bezos and Skittles.
While it might seem like a well-placed product placement ad, it wasn’t coordinated. Skittles had no idea their sweet treat was on board. The free-floating candy tricks gave the brand a real boost in organic content.
BrandGraph shows Skittles had almost 2000 pieces of organic content created in the three months surrounding the flight, which far surpassed its next competitor, Haribo.
BrandGraph also shows Skittles dominating the brand share of voice, meaning people were talking more about Skittles on social channels than any other non-chocolate candy brand.
Engagement spikes for Skittles
As any smart marketing team would, Skittles leveraged the moment and released Skittles Zero-G, a limited edition silver pouch of blue and purple candies. Skittles shared it with its Instagram followers just two days after the historic flight.
The senior brand manager for Skittles, Fernando Rodrigues, explained the new product in a press release saying, “Skittles is always looking for ways to surprise fans, both earthlings and extraterrestrials, with shocking innovation. We’re thrilled to bring better moments to fans by marking Skittles’ [latest] trip to space with limited edition packs and look forward to pushing the boundaries of confectionery space exploration.”
The flight coupled with the Zero-G candy sparked all kinds of social content, with folks commenting on the Skittles post and sharing it.
Posts like these seemed to push Skittles to the forefront once again and Skittles-inspired videos started popping up, like this one from @SMOL who does a cool trick with the candies.
BrandGraph shows a snapshot of just a few “Super Fans” of Skittles. These influencers all posted about the candy on their social channels between the end of July to mid-September.
The number of posts was climbing, but so was engagement. BrandGraph shows Skittles’ spacetime cameo fueled engagement in a big way.
The bar graph above shows total engagement for all non-candy brands. Skittles sits in first place, with engagement counts reaching 900+ right after the launch. After that, engagement drops a bit, but it still outpaces every other brand in its category.
Leveraging the moment
Your brand might not be lucky enough to land a surprise trip to space, but there are ways to monitor moments in time and leverage them. BrandGraph gives brands a chance to monitor their own social presence and their competitors. Stay up-to-date on what your followers are saying, draw inspiration from brand ambassadors, track competitors, and most importantly, access robust data that can fuel your marketing decisions.