In the land of weirdness that is headed by Old Spice, Skittles does a pretty darn good job of keeping up with them.  Uploaded June 7, Skittles has an ad with a teenager who thinks animal figurines are talking to him.  The first one, a pink horse, promises a bevy of the bite-sized candy if he smashes him.  Given the treasure that the pink horse unloads after being broken on the floor, "Tommy" now thinks all the figurines have something stored in them.  And guess what?  You get to choose which one he breaks next in an interactive video that brings fun to branded advertising.  Hat tip, Unruly's Meme Machine.

Skittles Figurines: Break Some Glass Animals, See What's Inside

I've always enjoyed interactivity in videos.  YouTube annotations make it possible to send viewers into a fixed point in the video, or send them to an unlisted video, to basically make YouTube a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure fantasy world if a content creator so chooses.  Here, Skittles gives you six choices, all of them adding to the nuttiness.  They did miss an opportunity for Tommy to throw the glass of water to the ground...that could have been interesting.

This is the type of advertising that works on YouTube, it is inherently "social" in that it gives viewers a choice and creates a discussion as to which one is better and creates buzz around the ad.  It's definitely not a traditional ad, which in general doesn't work when you're trying to get people to click and watch.  It has to have something unusual in it, something that will start a discussion.  And this one works for the most part.

  • Carl Hartman

    Hyperlinked media is not "interactive." Just as web sites and most other hypermedia is not interactive. There is no technology with AI or other constructs driving the activity. Nothing new. Nothing interesting.

    • Chris Atkinson

      Thanks, Carl! Invitation is still open to write a guest post for us! Would love to hear your perspective on the world of online video on any topic you like!

      • Carl Hartman

        We've done a lot in this area. A lot is proprietary right now, but we are in the process of releasing some really interesting tech shortly that allows real time interaction. We also produce a lot of material for PBS that includes actual AI behind the video interactions and virtual filmed characters. send me a note [email protected]