Skittles gonna Skittle, even on Christmas eve

Who: Mars Canada’s Skittles, Harbinger (PR), DDB (creative), MediaCom (media) and MediaCom Beyond Advertising (activation)

What: A pop-up shop in downtown Toronto giving away gifts “with a Skittles twist” for last-minute shoppers.

The plan: The store will open literally at the last minute, 11:59 P.M. on Dec.24. The first 60 people in line will get one of 60 quirky gifts. Like what, you ask. A Skittles covered ukele was one of the examples provided.

Why? Because odd-ball stunts like this fit perfectly with Skittles’ gently twisted brand of humour.

Is it just an IRL pop-up? No, of course not. People can also visit at exactly one minute to midnight on Christmas Eve to get a $2-off Skittles coupon. The site is also live now, with a “game” designed to help people looking for a reason to avoid shopping. (The “game” is pushing a button and watching a clock count the seconds wasted.)

We think… With its connection to a widely understood predicament of incomplete shopping lists, combined with the promise of free stuff and the potential of quirky visuals, “Last Minute Gift Shop”  could generate some social action (though there doesn’t seem to be much activity around the #LastMinuteGiftShop hashtag yet). It could also get some attention from mainstream media looking for a kooky angle to add to the obligatory stories about shopping on Christmas Eve.

And we quote: “The Skittles team is celebrating those that hold out with the first ever Skittles Last Minute Gift Shop. We’re opening our doors quite literally during the final minute of Christmas Eve where procrastination is celebrated with an extra twist of holiday of cheer.” —Michelle Lefler, corporate affairs director, Mars Wrigley Confectionery Canada. – David Brown

David Brown