Skittles is getting a new look as part of its “Give the Rainbow” campaign—a twist on its traditional “Taste the Rainbow” slogan—for Pride Month this June. The brand is releasing its candy in gray and white with the message “only one rainbow matters during Pride”, an homage to the rainbow flag used as a symbol of the LGBTQ movement. The limited-edition candy will be available at CVS and Walgreens stores across the United States. Working with two of the biggest pharmacy chains in the country could help Skittles further influence the campaign’s visibility, according to a Gartner report, as the store’s essential business status has led to an increase in customers and sales. The brand is also working with LGBTQ nonprofit, GLAAD, to donate $1 towards its programs for every Skittles Pride pack sold.
Though many in-person events, such as Pride parades, were canceled due to the pandemic, brands are still finding opportunities to show their support. Skittles’ campaign is a darker take on typical Pride advertising, as its muted colors signify the weighty issues affecting the LGBTQ community at this time. The toned-down approach could resonate with supporters and customers, as it reflects current circumstances. To build support for the campaign, Skittles created a hashtag, #OneRainbow, on Twitter and Instagram for fans to show how they are celebrating Pride while social distancing. Skittles has embraced Pride marketing over the past few years. For example, the candy company recruited LGBTQ artists in the U.K. to create limited edition packaging in 2019. In 2017, it released all-white packaging in the U.S., though the move drew mixed opinions as some feared the message could be linked to white nationalism. In 2020, Skittles is continuing its theme of neutral colors, but has taken a less questionable approach to show its support.
While brands typically go all out for Pride marketing, the cancellation of parades and festivals has left them pivoting to online advertising. As more companies turn to digital marketing, they may have a harder time standing out. That said, while many brands are embracing vibrant colors for Pride month, Skittles’ lack of color could actually set it apart.