Breaking conventions with Pride

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2018

UK sales of Skittles were declining. As an impulse buy, the confectionery brand needed to be top of mind and more visible in stores. To reach young adults - often light TV viewers – it sought new ways to gain salience and improve retail distribution. In partnership with Tesco, Skittles launched a new product without its famous rainbow branding, to show support for the LGBT+ community’s rainbow flag and create buzz during Pride festival season. The launch generated social sharing and a total 250m impressions - 73% unpaid. In a flat market, Skittles value share rose 4.2%, with dramatic growth in Tesco stores and around Pride. Whilst decreasing in other retailers, distribution in Tesco grew 92%, opening up fresh opportunities to collaborate with the UK’s biggest retailer.

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Give The Rainbow helped to break new ground for us as a brand. We learnt the power of working collaboratively with a retail partner, bringing them with us on the journey as we championed a cause and initiative of great importance to both businesses. It was the first time Skittles has championed a positive cause like Pride. And with key global markets like US and Germany now picking up this support for the LGBT+ community, it has helped to deliver a global evolution of the brand. Fun and disruption was at the heart of the idea, but we were also genuine and authentic when it mattered. Whether that’s the heartfelt gesture to Pride, seeking meaningful influencers or donating a proportion of profit from each pack. The campaign has become an important case study within Mars, pioneering new ways of earning reach and driving brand growth, beyond usual channels like TV. It’s also changing the way we work going forwards. Pride is now an important part of our calendar and yearly planning, offering a new opportunity to showcase our support for Pride in eye-catching ways, whilst driving desire for our limited-edition product. The results of the campaign inspired us to bring retail and shopper insights into the planning process earlier, in the knowledge that solutions to key business challenges are just as likely to come from retailer needs as they are from consumer insights. The campaign has also had a big impact internally. From the whole business celebrating Pride each year, to the chance for associates to join us on the float at Pride in London. Mars has also started an important partnership with Stonewall on their Diversity Champions programme - ensuring that we are supporting and celebrating diversity and inclusion everyday within the business.

Rory Fitzherbert, Senior Brand Manager

Winners 2018

Silver Winner


Breaking conventions with Pride







Principal Authors

  • David Mortimer - adam&eveDDB

Contributing Authors

  • Les Binet - adam&eveDDB

Credited Companies

  • MediaCom - Media
  • Haygarth - Other|Shopper

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