Have you checked out the Skittles homepage recently? Oh you haven’t? At all? Well, check it out, okay? It’s a nice slice of viral marketing.

It’s generating a lot of buzz because it’s basically just a snapshot of a search for “Skittles” on Twitter. The Skittles Twitter viral marketing campaign is generating a fair bit of buzz online. Some of the Skittles buzz has been negative. Some of the Skittles buzz has been a bit more back and forth on its analysis. I’ll aim for the latter.

Here are my thoughts:

1. What’s the point of showcasing a search for Twitter on the Skittles homepage?

From the user’s perspective… I can’t think of much. Mostly, this Twitter viral campaign just opens itself up to pranks. Say something silly, mention the word Skittles. Easy prank.

But, then again, to be fair, I can’t argue with the amount of buzz that Skittles has generated.

2. Why collect my age?

Seriously, this is really annoying. When you go to the Skittles homepage you have to put in your age. To heck with that. I’ll just, you know, go to Twitter and search Skittles. My computer cookies won’t even save it, so I have to do it every time. That’s just annoying.

3. Does this connect me to the brand in anyway?

I don’t think so. Mostly people are just spamming the word Skittles now. It’s not like I’m seeing actual conversations or reviews about Skittles. I’m seeing this:

Skittles Viral CampaignIt’s pretty hard for big name brands to use social media in a viral marketing campaign that works to actually connect brands to people. I certainly applaud Twitter’s efforts. But I think other companies have done it more effectively (the connectivity part, that is). Jeep has user-generated photos from Flickr. That’s actually pretty cool.

I think that eventually, as some of the spam and buzz dies down, the searches that the Skittles homepage shows will be more relevant. It will actually be discussion about the Skittles brand, which might be neat to show, completely unfiltered, on the Skittles home page. For now, though, there’s a lot of spam and/or junk.

4. Has Skittles reached its target audience?

Skittles is supposedly targeting teens and younger adults on Social Media. So, honestly, yeah, I think they have. They’re targetting people using social media, and a lot of the buzz has been on social media (Twitter, a lot of blogs, etc.).

5. Is this actually good for Skittles in the long run?

Any publicity isn’t necessarily good publicity, but there is really nowhere near enough negative buzz for this to be considered “bad” for Skittles. I think this is probably a pretty great thing for Skittles’ brand recognizability, overall.

In closing, I… don’t actually really like the taste of Skittles. But maybe if I felt ambivalent towards them the campaign might… MIGHT influence my choice next time I’m choosing an impulse snack in the grocery line.