Skittles Rips the Modernista Model!


To better represent the interest of its users, whose lives "[revolve] around social and user generated media," Skittles tore a sheet out of Modernista's playbook and relinquished control of its website.

Visits to drive users to the Wikipedia article about the company, with navs featured in a pop-up that explains what users are looking at (Modernista has one of these too):

"Don't sweat it, this is still It just has a new twist. User this as your guide to find anything and everything Skittles that's online. Have fun."

Interesting. When Modernista surrendered itself to the Zeitgeist, we thought the move was brave and forward-moving, not least because it nods to pure transparency. (We saw that earlier this month, when Modernista's "n3wz" section, which points to either Google News or Google Blog Search, was deluged with articles about layoffs at the agency.)

It also opens the label up to just general meanness. Modernista hardly had its new "site" up 24 hours before Wikipedia yanked its page. now points to the Facebook Fan page.

Aaaanywho, the Skittles "site" model will work about the same way. The nav bar will drive you to places all over the "interwebs," including YouTube and flickr. We like that "CHATTER" points to a search for "skittles" on Summize, meaning you can read everything Twitter users are tweeting about Skittles in real-time.


UPDATE, 9:45 AM EST on 2/28/09: now points directly to Summize results for "skittles." Looks like Wikipedia is an equal-opportunity antagonist -- although Wiki articles are still used in the "PRODUCTS" section.

by Angela Natividad    Feb-27-09   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Online, Trends and Culture   

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I'll say the same thing here I've said before. Of course it matters. For a couple reasons at least:

1) Have some self-respect in your job. You're a creative, not an imitator. You get paid to come up with ideas, not just steal them.

2) If I'm a client and want a new idea, how do I know your agency will even be able to come up with something original if all you do is rip people off? I guarantee you didn't charge the client less because they quickly stole an idea instead of spending time to come up with something new.

Of course it's that'd do this. When the best you can do on your own is the "When we roll, we roll big!" Subway pitch video, you have to steal other people's ideas just to get business.

Posted by: MattM on February 27, 2009 4:40 PM

And guess what? It's been done before Modernista.

Posted by: Doug on February 28, 2009 10:41 AM

Another complaint on the Twitterwebs has been that the new site lacks 'brand identity'. Does Skittles need to keep reinforcing their branding at this stage? Also, couldn't they have created a less-Modernista, more branding-focused site by creating a Skittles-branded homepage devoid of trad'l marketing content and pumped full of feed-aggregating widgets (Flickr stream, YouTube stream, Twitter stream, etc.)?

And yes, from a design perspective, the whole thing is remarkably sloppy and lazy.

HOWEVER, if it's driving Web traffic, stimulating conversation, encouraging interaction, and (most important!) moving share, I can't say it's a "bad" website, per se.

Posted by: Jolie O'Dell on March 2, 2009 10:30 AM

I disagree, take a look at my full response at the link provided but I definitely think that Modernista's "original" idea had been accidently done before with framed sites in the past, and I think that what did has way more to do with twitter than the format of their layout. Integrating your site with twitter is huge. The execution is poor on both sites.

Posted by: Joseph Maguire on March 2, 2009 12:51 PM

I don't think that this is a rip off; I think it is a realization of the future of the web, a web that consists of distributed content, as opposed to curated walled gardens.

Sure, this Skittles site hearkens back to the modernista site, but there is nothing wrong with adopting a model that makes sense, and it is not necessarily a rip-off.

Posted by: adam broitman on March 3, 2009 7:21 AM

Who copied who? Check this

Posted by: Check It on April 14, 2009 5:59 PM