World’s best ads ever #5: Skittles’ ‘Touch the Rainbow’ builds on campaign legacy
We asked our readers to vote for their favorite commercials of all time. Top creatives from the World Creative Rankings and The Drum’s Judges’ Club then ranked the ads. Now, we bring you the definitive 100 best TV and video ads of all time.
Imagine having the superpower to turn anything you touch into candy. Sounds fun, right? Skittle’s famous 2008 ad entitled ‘Touch the Rainbow’, however, gets you to think again.
The spot opens in what appears to be a video store (now a casualty of streaming services). A woman walks up to her coworker Tim to show someone named Joel his unique talent, which is turning everything into Skittles. She hands Tim a stapler, which promptly transforms into hundreds of falling Skittles with one touch. “That’s awesome,” Joel exclaims. Tim, however, doesn’t seem so amused.
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“Is it awesome when you can’t hold your own baby boy in your arms?” he responds, before going into one of the most absurd monologues in the history of advertising.
Tim finds himself in a deeply existential dilemma that’s reminiscent of something out of the Twilight Zone. He tells them about the man he turned to Skittles after shaking hands with him on the bus. “He’ll never see his family again,” he says, as he lets Skittles fall across the desk in front of him and on to the floor. When he tries to answer the phone, his plight continues as thousand of Skittles materialize before him. Finally, the entire desk becomes – yep, you guessed it – Skittles. The hilariously dark commercial lasts just 45 seconds and closes on the familiar phrase ‘Taste the rainbow’.
Developed and launched by New York advertising agency D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in 1994, ‘Taste the Rainbow’ is one of the longest-running advertising campaigns ever. To date, there have been north of 40 ‘Taste the Rainbow’ commercials made.