The ongoing battle for Facebook fans is rapidly reaching fever pitch, as brands go to exceedingly bizarre lengths to get potential customers to tune into their in-stream marketing messages.
Quirky candy brand Skittles – which has a long history of bizarre ads under its ‘Taste the Rainbow’ positioning - buried a man alive in its multi-coloured sweets yesterday in return for a few more Facebook fans.
The ‘Dazzle the Rainbow’ Facebook campaign saw David Phoenix – a character loosely based on David Blaine – locked inside a tank and submerged in constantly falling candy - some 3.7M of them. Each time a visitor clicked through to the live event (which requires access to a users profile) the number of falling Skittles increased.
David could be seen spouting various fan-baiting messages in pre-event videos and via his own Twitter profile, such as: “People think I'm being submerged in Skittles. I'm not. I'm helping 1.3 million people to experience defeat, one Skittle at a time” and “I am five Supermans in the skin of an Incredible Hulk wrapped up in the World’s Most Tough and Handsome Man”.
You get the picture.
David joins a long line of male characters that are pushing a new macho agenda in advertising, from The Old Spice guy, to the bearded French Connection ‘I am the man’ character, right up to Axe and its desire to make men manlier in Brazil.
As a campaign it ties in well with both the trapped miners in Chile and the recent Buried movie, in terms of interest in the plight of those in confined spaces, even if the David Blaine parody seems a little outdated.