- Mars-owned Skittles is out with its first Halloween commercial in more than five years, according to press materials provided to Marketing Dive.
- The ad, created with agency DDB Chicago and Smuggler Production House, is designed to tweak a familiar witch story. In the spot, a witch who lured a young man into her house with the promise of a lifetime supply of free Skittles begs him to leave because he is annoying, even as he cooks in a boiling pot of water. The evil witch becomes a kind of "hapless villain," DDB Chicago creative director Nathaniel Lawlor pointed out in a statement. She is also modernized by having Velcro sneakers and a large cooking pot instead of a cauldron.
- The ad, which changes the brand's "Taste the Rainbow" tagline to "Annoy the Rainbow," will run online on YouTube, Hulu, Amazon, IGN and Meredith properties.
This is the Mars brand's first Halloween ad since 2014 and features Matty Cardrople, familiar to some viewers from the third season of "Stranger Things" and the "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" TV series, both on Netflix. Along with the new Halloween ad, Skittles in August began urging Instagram users to take part in its #DareTheRainbow Challenge as part of its early Halloween promotion for Zombie Skittles.
"Skittles ideas are always rooted in subverting something familiar and turning it into something delightfully unexpected," Skittles' senior associate brand manager Mitch Rotenberg said in a statement accompanying the newest Halloween ad.
Like other Skittles ads from DDB Chicago, this one adds a riff on the brand's traditional "Taste the Rainbow" tagline, with the addition emphasizing the spot's theme. The new Halloween spot adds "Annoy the Rainbow" to the depiction of the annoying victim, and "Regret the Rainbow" to the spot-within-the-spot's depiction of a philosophical witch and her victim.
The brand's previous Halloween ads alluded to the featured spider's real intention with "Trap the Rainbow." In another 2014 ad, it emphasized the spot's spookiness with "Haunt the Rainbow." Other variations include "Rock the Rainbow" in a 2016 ad featuring Steven Tyler and "Switch the Rainbow" for a radio ad.
Earlier this year, Skittles staged its Super Bowl commercial as a Broadway musical on game day instead of running a 30-second spot during the big game.