2016 Winners

GOLD: Connection Strategy

Wrigley Canada

Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop


The holidays can be a challenging time for any brand (much less a candy brand) to stand out. With candy canes, gumdrops and marshmallow Santas filling the shelves of every store, the holidays are a time when Skittles is upstaged by other sweets.

So to drive sales over the holidays, Skittles needed an idea that could not only compete against other candy, but also cut through the clutter of holiday advertising. The main objective was to increase Skittles brand share by 2% during the most competitive time of year.

Working with BBDO, the brand found a universal insight: while people love the holidays, there is one thing they don't love – getting an awful gift they'll never use. Research shows that nearly 75% of Canadians have been disappointed by a bad holiday gift at one point in their lives.

Based on this insight, the agency gave Canadians the opportunity to trade those unwanted gifts for something they did want: Skittles.

The insight led to the creation of a Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop, which was designed to generate both social engagement and buzz for the brand. The brand twisted the classic pawn shop by using Skittles as currency – an idea that aligned perfectly with the brand's strategic positioning as an object of desire.

BBDO created a parody video of the typical low-budget pawn shop ad featuring Dale (Skittles' very own dealmaker) on 15 December, 2015. The video was supported with an interactive website, print, social posts and PR.

The website (Skittlespawn.ca) allowed consumers to engage with the brand online and upload images of the items they wanted to exchange for Skittles. Real time "appraisers" would value each submission and instantly provide a certificate that could be redeemed for candy at the Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop. For those unable to make it to the shop, the appraisal certificate gave them $2 off a bag of Skittles anywhere in Canada.

On Boxing Day, the brand opened the pawn shop, which was supported through print, social media and PR. Daily social posts kept followers updated with store hours and generated additional awareness of the shop after it opened. The brand also partnered with YouTube influencer and Skittles fan, Lilly Singh. She created social media posts and visited the store, driving a major spike in traffic the day she arrived.

For five days, thousands of customers brought in holiday items they didn't want and traded them for what they did want: Skittles. More than 52,000 bags of Skittles were exchanged for unwanted items during the campaign, with the items donated to charity.

Sales increased 4%, doubling the original 2% target. There was also 98.8 million earned media impressions (394% over target) and the campaign received coverage on CTV, CBC, City, CP24 and Global. The shop saw 2,700 visitors over five days (317% over target), and the brand tracked 15,984 website submissions (85% over target), 51,798 site visits (20% over target), 4.4 million video views and 503,000 total engagements. What's more, numerous consumer requests from around the world have been made to bring the Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop to their city.


Advertiser: Skittles

Creative agency: BBDO

SVP, ECDs: Todd Mackie, Denise Rossetto

VP, ACDs: Chris Booth & Joel Pylypiw

Senior AD: Mike Schonberger

Senior CW: Matt Hubbard

Agency producer: Terry Kavanagh

VP, group account director: Kristina Hayes

Account director: Saloni Wadehra

Account executive: Zach Kula

Production company: Creative Soul

Production company director: Matt Eastman

DOP: Michael Banasiak

Producer: Evan Landry

Exec. producer: Adam Palmer

Editing house: Panic & Bob

Editor: Steve Puhach

Post-production company colourist: Bill Ferwerda

Online editor: Brodie McNeill

Producer: Jenna Edwards

Audio house: Ricochet

Audio engineer: Mike Rosnick

Media agency: MediaCom Canada

PR agency: Harbinger

For submission inquiries, please contact Clare O'Brien at cobrien@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.