Skittles Is Apologizing to 130,880 People for Ditching Lime
Behold, the sorriest ad campaign of 2022!
Skittles ditched its Lime flavor nine years ago in favor of Green Apple. Now, in response to fans' exhortations, Lime returns, accompanied by tongue-in-cheek "Restore the Rainbow" messaging from DDB Chicago that features actor Jeff Lewis issuing a massive mea culpa.
He'll appear on a Twitch livestream today at 6 p.m. ET, apologizing for the whole Lime/Apple debacle. We get a taste in these teasers:
A Times Square billboard goes live today, too, likewise addressing specific complaints.
All told, more than 130,000 folks have taken Skittle to task on social over Flavorgate. The brand vows it will apologize to them all in one media format or another.
"We looked at so many corporate apologies, and they all had a few things in common: They were pretty hollow, generic and really gave the impression they were being forced to do it," DDB executive creative director Colin Selikow tells Muse. "We took the exact opposite approach. Not only did we make ours insanely personal by literally apologizing to each of the 130,880 person who complained, we also proudly surfaced all that online anger towards Skittles since it actually showed the passion people had for Lime."
Lewis nails his role, mixing corporate angst with sweaty sincerity. Or maybe he oozes insincerity? Either way, it works.
At the casting call, "he was uncomfortable and desperately trying to be professional, which is exactly what you want from a spokesperson apologizing to the whole internet," Selikow says. "For 30 minutes, he will read choice tweets and apologize—over and over. It's a lot funnier than it sounds when you get into the strangely impassioned things people have said online. Apparently, changing the flavor of green Skittles has ruined childhoods, and it's responsible for evil winning."
The work feels in step with Skittles' surreal, trendsetting ads of yore, explored on our latest Tagline podcast.
"The beauty of Skittles is that its point of view on the world is so simple and clear and consistent, that you know right away if you have a Skittles idea or not," says DDB worldwide chief creative officer Ari Weiss. "Basically, if any other brand in the world would do it, it's not a Skittles idea. We think the world's longest corporate apology checks that box."
Senior VP, Brand & Content, Mars Wrigley, North America – Marissa BECK
Senior Manager, Brand & Content, Mars Wrigley, North America – Chanel GANT
Global Head of Brand, Content and Media, Mars Wrigley – Rankin CARROLL
Chief Marketing Officer, North America - Sarah LONG
Vice President of Marketing, US Fruit Snacks Portfolio - Justin HOLLYN-TAUB
Sr. Associate Brand Manager, SKITTLES - Danielle DOSSANTOS
Manager, Brand & Content, Mars Wrigley, North America - Chris BENDECK
DDB TEAM CREDITS:
Chief Creative Officer, DDB Worldwide: Ari WEISS
Executive Creative Director, DDB Chicago: Colin SELIKOW
Group Creative Director, DDB N.Y.: Ross SAUNDERS
Group Creative Director, DDB N.Y.: Paulo JUNGER
Head of Production, DDB Chicago: Matt BLITZ
Executive Producer, DDB Chicago: Annie LARIMER
Senior Producer, DDB Chicago: Alethya LUISELLI
Producer, DDB Chicago: Madison AMALFITANO
Global Segment Lead, DDB Chicago: Frances GAILLARD
Global Brand Lead, DDB Chicago: Jasmine JABBOUR
Global Strategy Director, DDB Chicago: Josh DRUECK
Global Client Director, Mars Inc, DDB Worldwide: Varsha KAURA
Global Operations Director, Mars Inc, DDB Worldwide: Eli VELEZ
Global Deployment Director, DDB Chicago: Amanda KRAUSE
Senior Business Manager, DDB Chicago: Kathy COSGROVE
Account Supervisor, DDB Chicago: Vivien MARAFKO
Project Manager, DDB Chicago: Buky OGUNLEYE
PRODUCTION TEAM CREDITS:
Production Company: Picrow
Director: Fatal Farm
Director of Photography: Jeff Powers
Executive Producer - Dal Wolf
Executive Producer - Anthony Ficalora
Line Producer - Peter Sprouse
EDITORIAL & POST TEAM CREDITS:
Editorial: Whitehouse Post
Editor: Matt Badger
Assistant Editor: Tara O'Sullivan
EP: Kristin Angeletti
Producer: Ryan Smith
VFX/Post Production: Carbon VFX
2D Lead: Julio Leon
2D Online: Julio Leon
VFX Producer: Kate Smith
VFX EP: Gretchen Praeger
Color: Carbon VFX
Colorist: Bree Brackett
Color Producer: Laurie Adrianopoli + Dan Butler
Color Assistant: Zoe Rain Lambert
AUDIO POST TEAM CREDITS:
Audio-post: The Works (DDB Studio)
Sound Design & Mix: David Axelbaum
Studio Managers: Tommy Lombardi and Tom Syoen
Head of Studio: Brian Winterton