2016 Winners

SILVER: Best Experiential Engagement

GOLD: AToMiC Engagement


Wrigley - Skittles Holiday Pawn Shop

Much like other fast-moving consumer packaged goods, the confectionary category is highly commoditized. Success in this category relies on building strong physical and mental availability for consumers. In order to build mental availability, a brand must not only have a consistent marketing presence but also a clearly differentiated position that appeals to consumers. Further, physical availability (shelf space at the retail level) is influenced by the success of marketing efforts.

Wrigley’s business challenge was to break through the competitive clutter of traditional holiday candy.

To build mental availability, Skittles continuously reinforces its positioning as the “icon of unpredictability.” Research told us that consumers view the candy category as a low-barrier/risk-free way to experiment with new, fun experiences. Investigating opportunities to apply this insight around the holidays, we also learned that 80% of Canadians were expected to receive at least one (and often several) unwanted gifts.

To leverage these insights and build on Skittles’ brand positioning, we took an environment that most people were familiar with but had not experienced – a pawn shop – and put a Skittles twist on the regular pawn shop exchange of items for cash to create an experience so unpredictable that consumers needed to see it to believe it.

MediaCom, in partnership with Wrigley, BBDO and Harbinger, opened up the Skittles Pawn Shop at a well-recognized storefront in Toronto’s popular Queen West area. From Dec. 26-30, customers were encouraged to bring in their unwanted Christmas presents and trade them for packs of Skittles. All unwanted gifts were in turn donated to charity. Dale the Dealmaker, a character featured in a highly targeted PR & media campaign, was on hand to entertain as well as tell customers how much their items were worth. Bartering ensued. Customers unable to visit the store could get their items appraised online and were given a coupon to get their Skittles payment in-store anywhere Skittles are sold.

The excitement continued when the Skittles Pawn Shop was paid a visit by Canadian YouTube star Lilly Singh (iiSuperwomanii) who created a vlog post entitled: The Time I Went to Skittles Heaven.


  • Over 52,000 packs of Skittles distributed
  • Over 13,000 kgs of items donated to charity
  • Over 53,000 visits to SkittlesPawn.com – 23% above estimates
  • Lilly’s video reached over 249,000 views – above average for other video posts on her vlog
  • The Skittles Pawn Shop received an astounding 98 million earned media impressions via coverage from bloggers, influencers and media outlets such as Global News, CityNews, CP24, The Toronto Star, The Huffington Post, BlogTO, The Edge 102.1, Indie88, CHUMFM and more.
  • Lilly also appeared on Jimmy Fallon shortly after her appearance and gave a shout out to Skittles that was seen by millions globally


Client: Wrigley

Marketing director: Dan Alvo

Marketing manager: Julia Mauer

Agency: Mediacom

Content and activation manager: Alaine Perrow

Account manager: Michael Mills

Senior media executive: Amber McKean

Agency: BBDO

VP, group Account director: Kristina Hayes

Account supervisor: Saloni Wadehra

Account executive: Zach Kula

Agency: Harbinger

Client service manager: Stephanie Bateman

Director client services: Lauren Cosentino

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Zoe Sherwood at 416-408-2300 x237 or zsherwood@brunico.com.