McGinko or Tupelo U? Skittles sends Tree Boy to school

Wrigley expands its Tree Boy campaign with a cross-platform promotion to get consumers talking about the candy.  

For the first time in Canada, Wrigley-owned Skittles has launched a cross-platform interactive grassroots “movement” to get consumers involved in the brand.

The cause? Choosing a college for the candy’s Tree Boy, a character with the terrible (creepy) misfortune of having sprouted a tree that grows Skittles out of his stomach. Tree Boy was first introduced by the brand last year in a commercial that aired across North America, Dan Alvo, director of marketing, Wrigley Canada tells MiC.

“Tree Boy’s story is a fun, edgy program which allows consumers to engage with the brand and share the importance of freedom and living life to its fullest,” he says. “Skittles fans have come to expect the unexpected and the Free Tree Boy program exemplifies these characteristics. We are always looking to discover new and unexpected ways to interact with our audience, with the intention of sharing the message about enjoying life’s great adventures.”

Media for the campaign was handled by the Toronto office of OMD Canada, creative by Toronto-based Hunter Straker Visual Brand Strategies and PR and social media relations by the Toronto office of Fleishman-Hillard Canada. The campaign includes a 30-second national commercial, a website, blogger seeding program, OOH and in-store “Free Tree Boy” bands, which come free with the purchase of specially marked packages of Skittles.

The online survey for consumers to choose Tree Boy’s college at launched this week and wraps at the end of June. The campaign culminates with a 3D Free Tree Boy chalk art display to be created by artist Julian Beever at the Toronto Eaton Centre from July 11 to 14.