Skittles will stage a Broadway musical on Super Bowl Sunday
- Mars-owned Skittles brand is staging its Super Bowl commercial as a Broadway musical, instead of running a 30-second spot during the game, according to a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
- The show, titled "Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical," will be performed in front of a live audience at The Town Hall in New York City for one show only on Feb. 3. The show, written by playwright and Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Eno with DDB Worldwide, will feature a 17-member cast, including a yet-to-be announced celebrity, along with original songs and a live band.
- Skittles plans to unveil more details about the show in the coming weeks. Tickets — which go for between $30 and $205 apiece — are available at Ticketmaster.com, and sales will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a nonprofit awarding grants to help people receive lifesaving medications and health care. Skittles will match the donation raised from the ticket sales. Fans can follow the conversation and buy tickets at SkittlesTheMusical.com or the brand's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
For the second year in a row, Skittles is experimenting with drumming up excitement around the Super Bowl without buying an expensive TV ad during the game. Staging a Skittles-themed Broadway show could help the candy brand generate buzz and media attention around one of the biggest marketing events of the year. Skittles is also building on the momentum of Broadway and the resurgence in popularity of musicals with a bet that some consumers looking for a spectacle in early February might prefer heading to a show rather than watching the big game at home. Skittles has set a fairly accessible price for tickets, which start at $30 apiece. Broadway set a box office record over the past year, and has seen an uptick in interest following the massive popularity of shows like "Hamilton."
While the Skittles musical will run for just one night, it's seems likely the brand could tape the event so it can be viewed online, extending its impact beyond just one night. The brand is building on the success of last year's efforts and recognizing that marketing stunts offering memorable experiences may be more efficient at boosting engagement and brand awareness.
Last year, Skittles made several best-of lists for its 2018 Super Bowl campaign. The brand created a 60-second ad that didn't actually air during the game. Instead, it was screened for a single fan, and the public could live stream his reaction on Skittles' Facebook page. Skittles announced the campaign with social media video featuring a fake TV newscast, where a news anchor explained the concept. Similar to this year's push, Skittles teased the fact that the campaign would feature a celebrity appearance, which turned out to be actor David Schwimmer.
Skittles continues to foster an emotional connection with consumers in its latest marketing efforts. The 2018 Super Bowl campaign, "Glowing," and its "Taste the Rainbow" spot were ranked among the most unusual ads in Ace Metrix's recent analysis for the Left Field category, which encompasses ads that seem outside the "realm of possibility."