Skittles is taking a different approach to the Super Bowl this year. As a follow-up to last year’s uber-successful Most Exclusive ad, Skittles is launching the first-ever commercial performed as a live Broadway musical, starring Michael C. Hall. “SKITTLES Commercial: The Broadway Musical” will be performed one time only in front of a live audience at The Town Hall in New York City on Sunday, February 3 at 1 P.M. EST, and it’s packed full of song, dance, and fun.
The half-hour long musical was written by Pulitzer-finalist playwright Will Eno in partnership with award-winning ad agency, DDB Worldwide. Through song and dance – and original tracks including “Advertising Ruins Everything,” “This Might Have Been A Bad Idea,” and “This Definitely Was A Bad Idea” – the show takes an absurdly self-reflective look at consumerism and the ever-increasing pervasiveness of brand advertising in our lives. Check out behind-the-scenes video of the original cast recording, “Advertising Ruins Everything,” at www.SkittlesTheMusical.com. You can also listen to the full version of the song, as well as additional music from the show on Spotify. Find full lyrics here.
“SKITTLES Commercial: The Broadway Musical” is sold out, but fans can find more information about the show – including the latest news and original content– at www.SkittlesTheMusical.com. All ticket sales will be benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Skittles will be matching the donation raised from ticket purchases.
Tell us about your role in the creation of this work.
This won’t come as a shock to anyone, but this is the first Broadway show I’ve ever produced. My role on the project was to bring the very best of advertising together with the very best of Broadway to create a great advertising campaign and a great Broadway musical.
Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?
Skittles is always about disrupting the ordinary. So while every other brand celebrates advertising during the big game, we thought it could be interesting to absurdly and self-reflectively examine the role consumerism plays on this sacred marketing day. And while we’re at it, why not do it through song and dance?
How is this Super Bowl brief different from the usual brief?
The Super Bowl is all about awareness and reach and making sure your brand is a part of the Super Bowl conversation. Extra points if you can do that without paying the 5+ million dollars for a 30 second spot in the game.
Can you share your favorite behind-the-scenes moment with us?
There have been so many stories on this project, but I think the one moment that sticks out most for me is when we first played Michael C. Hall the demos for the musical. It was an out of body experience. There we were, sitting with an actor that we all had incredible admiration and respect for, and our songs were explaining that he would have to dress up like a cat and openly discuss how this show would ruin his career. It was in that moment that we knew the show would live or die. Thankfully, Michael has an incredible sense of humor.
What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development?
Creating a Broadway musical.
What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?
Being scared to death, but ultimately not dying. It’s good to be scared. Creativity thrives when you don’t know what you’re doing, especially when you’re attempting something that’s never been done before. We brought together experts from theater and experts from advertising and asked them to quickly learn each other’s worlds. It was an incredible team effort, and everyone embraced the challenge. I’ve learned a ton from each and every person on this project, and for that I’m eternally grateful.
What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?
FedEx “We Apologize” – While every other brand goes all out for the Super Bowl, FedEx believed in the strength of their idea and decided to run color bars for 30 seconds with some brilliantly insightful copy.