MARS Wrigley Confectionary
Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
Skittles are all about fun. Our mission was to find a way to celebrate the brand’s global desire to poke fun at the ordinary in Saudi Arabia, a country where it’s not encouraged.
Our hero product: new Skittles Sours.
Our objective: boost sales
HOW DO YOU HAVE FUN IN A COUNTRY WHERE FUN CAN BE RISKY?
Skittles is all about fun. But in Saudi Arabia that’s not always the case.
Skittles loves poking fun at the ordinary and life’s little oddities. But Saudi Arabia is conservative and young people are expected to play by the rules.
We needed to bring fun to a country where it’s often wise to hide how you truly feel. And we had to do it for new Skittles Sours, Skittles so sharp, you can’t hide how they tingle your tastebuds.
Skittles Sours are all about losing your inhibitions, but in our target market that can be a risky business.
Comedy is a case in point – being brave and daring with humorous content is not welcome. Saudi was recently inducted into Freedom of The Net’s table of Top 10 Countries with the highest internet censorship.
As a result, half of all young people now go online via a mobile VPN for entertainment. We had to find a suitable way for our target audience to cut loose.
Our opportunity was to leverage the country’s reform agenda, which is loosening many old norms.
We needed to bring the feeling of inclusion that the joy of a shared joke brings and remind our target that life should be a surprisingly endless source of entertainment.
Do that and we’d hit brand owner Wrigley’s targets to drive Skittles sales and build share.
WE WOULDN’T JUST GAMIFY OUR MESSAGE, WE WOULD CREATE A BRAND, NEW CARD GAME
New Skittles Sours are so unbelievably sour they have the power to awaken those suppressed feelings that all of us keep deep inside.
We knew that we had to awaken those feelings in the supermarket – the place where two-thirds of candy decisions are made.
We drew inspiration from another brand that like Sours, encourages people to reveal their true selves – Cards Against Humanity. Cards Against Humanity, the card game in which players complete fill-in-the-blank statements using offensive words, had poked so many holes in everyday realities that it was banned in Saudi. Local consumers, though, wanted more and still searched for it more than 3,600 times a month.
Our strategy would turn the Skittles Sours packaging into a fun moment, encouraging our target to “Buy One and Get Fun Free”.
Our idea: a unique ‘LetOutTheSour’ Card game modelled on Cards Against Humanity, a fun game for Sour people only be available in-store with the new Skittles flavours.
The game mechanics were simple. Each player draws 10 white cards. One randomly chosen player begins as the ‘sour master’ and plays a green card by reading the question on the card out loud. Everyone else answers the question by passing their wittiest white card, face down, to the sour master. The sour master shuffles all the answers, shares each card combination and then picks their funniest favourite!
We would promote this unique mix of brand, card and sour using paid media and social channels but our key brand beacon would be our unique game, designed to create a reaction both in-store and when consumers played at home.
WE TOOK OUR CARDS TO PEOPLE WITH INFLUENCE AND MADE THEM A RETAIL MUST-BUY
To write locally relevant card content, we partnered with local comedy superstar Ali Al-Sayed, a man who knows how to poke fun and walk close to the line of what is allowed.
A man who knows how to write 550 question/answer cards enabling players the chance to create comic combinations such as:
‘I failed my driving test because of Ali Baba and the forty goats’
‘I wish there was a Skittle that tasted like a sweaty yoga mat!’
To ensure we drove repeat purchases, we then split these cards into a collectable series of five games.
Our media strategy was to let the cards do the talking.
We partnered with the ‘Sa7i’ team where comedians such as Khaled Al-Farraj, Amira Al-Abbas and Ibrahim Al- Bukairi played the game on their hit YouTube show.
We used Skittles-owned assets throughout, encouraging fans and key influencers to share their gameplay moments.
We also extended the message to UAE, working with the biggest radio stations to get our game played live on air during breakfast and drive-time.
Our in-store focus made Skittles Sours the star of the shop, with high-profile point of purchase and point of sale executions.
Although options were limited by each retailer, our executions included high-profile floor displays at Panda supermarkets across Saudi Arabia and end of shelf units at Carrefour in the UAE.
Lead Media Agency