The Skittles Guide to Free Publicity

To make this work you need a beloved product or service, free or paid. It doesn’t need to be a household name, but it must have an ardent, loyal following in your particular niche.

Here’s what Skittles Candy did to garner millions of dollars in free publicity:

Skittles launched in 1979 with a candy that comes in little pieces of several flavors. You might know them for their, “Taste the Rainbow” slogan.

In 2013, Skittle ‘broke’ their product by replacing the lime flavor with green apple.

130,880 disgruntled, lime-loving fans took to social media to voice their outrage over the change, and Skittles received plenty of free publicity with the change and ensuing outrage. Sales increased.

In 2021, Skittles announced the, “Restore the Rainbow” campaign to once again include lime Skittles in the product pack. Again, Skittles received free press for this decision.

And this year Skittles is doing an “Apology Tour” to make amends for taking away the lime flavor. Again, they are receiving massive free press for this marketing campaign (I wanted to write “stunt” instead of campaign, but my MS Word autofill insists that I shouldn’t do that.)

Do you have a popular product? You might want to ‘break’ it for free publicity, and then ‘fix’ it to get even more free press.

It certainly seems to be working for Skittles.

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