Recently, Skittles unveiled a new packaging design featuring the phrase ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’, in collaboration with GLAAD. This decision led to a surge of debates on social media platforms like Twitter, reminiscent of the divisive Bud Light campaign with Dylan Mulvaney.
This year marks the fourth continuous partnership between Skittles and GLAAD, a renowned advocate against discrimination and supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. Skittles’ official website mentions that their joint initiatives aim to shed light on and celebrate LGBTQ+ stories.
For the special Pride Packs, Skittles adopted a different aesthetic approach. At first, they chose a muted gray tone to signify their allegiance to the cause. The following year, they brought onboard five LGBTQ+ artists to reimagine the brand’s iconic rainbow. Among the designs, phrases like ‘express urself’ and ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ were prominent.
Detractors feel that such corporate endorsements can come across as disingenuous, especially if seen as a mere marketing ploy. Many Twitter users made connections to the Bud Light campaign that led to a notable sales downturn for Anheuser-Busch. Post the campaign, the firm acknowledged a 10.5% drop in its US revenue for a particular quarter, linking the downturn to the Bud Light advertisement.
Tweets hinting that Skittles might encounter a similar setback were frequent, with remarks such as, “Is this another Bud Light scenario? Haven’t they learned?”
While Skittles’ original packaging remains on shelves, the unique Pride Packs can be sourced from select outlets. In an earlier communication, Skittles’ Senior Director, Justin Hollyn-Taub, voiced the brand’s unwavering dedication to the LGBTQ+ community, underlining the need for year-round advocacy, not just during Pride Month.
Sales from these special packs will partly fund GLAAD’s anti-discrimination efforts, with donations capped at $100,000.