Cannes Lions

The Most Annoying Chinese New Year Campaign

DDB CHINA, Shanghai / SKITTLES / 2021

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Chinese New Year (CNY) is the sales peak season for confectionary category inChina and the most important battlefield for Skittles. In the past years, Skittles has been building the linkage with this cultural occasion while cutting through the communication clutter of the similar sentimental stories by disrupting the iconicChinese New Year predictabilities, e.g. the predictable family gatherings, conversations and etiquettes.

When it comes to the year of Ox, given the uncertainty of pandemic status, all the predictable elements of family reunion might not be relevant anymore. It pushed us to step back and explore the way to make the idea simpler but crazier to create a bigger impact on culture and really earn its place to maintain the sales momentum.


In order to stand out and get noticed during CNY, Skittles introduced “The Most Frustrating Red Packet”, a digital red envelop distributed on China’s massive WeChat platform. Instead of clicking the red packet a single time as every other red packet on WeChat requires, Skittles “Most Frustrating Red Packet” had to be clicked 50,000 times in order to claim the prize. But Skittles made it worth it. The most frustrating packet was worth 50,000 if you were one of the skilled participants to reach 50,000 clicks first.


A broad target audience, but more focus on younger Gen Z and millennial consumers, specifically older teens and those in their twenties.


The Skittles brand platform is based on a universal human truth, which is what

has allowed it to resonate with the Chinese market with a brand formula - disrupt the predicable things.

Predictably you can unlock the cash gift by simply opening the paper pack or clicking for the digital one. From there, we find the opportunity for Skittles to disrupt in a quite crazy way.

By creating a game that requires considerable effort but offers a considerable

reward, Skittles grabbed the attention of younger consumers.


1st step, teaser video launched on Jan 21

Our announcement video featured two friends debating the merits of this promotion, finally agreeing that it was a tremendous waste of time as we watched them age 70 years in 15 seconds.

We then leveraged social media platforms that are popular with Gen Z

audiences such as Bilibili and TikTok to help drive talkability. We leveraged KOLs from different territories of China to make content on these platforms, who filmed themselves making creative or funny inventions designed to help them achieve a high amount of clicks in a short amount of time.

2nd step, Skittles Red Packet Challenge from Jan 28- Feb 2

After generating interest from public, to receive the red envelop we created a mini program on WeChat that allowed fans to scan a unique code on our packets of skittles to unlock the 50,000 click challenge.

Scale: national level


The crazy idea has successfully generated 7 million clicks, 1,152 hours spent in total within 5 days red packet challenge. It has also driven a lot of buzz and discussions on Chinese social media, approximately 730 million impressions. Most importantly, the Skittles sales has also achieved double digit growth vs. last year during the campaign period!

The campaign has also successfully triggered interests from many marketing and trade medias. One of the prestigious magazines Contagious even invited the team to do an in-depth interview to understand more details of the campaign. In China, in the article from the mass media Jiemian that summarized the 2021 Chinese New Year campaigns, it pointed out that majority of the campaigns are relatively boring and cliché and this Skittles idea has successfully cut through the communication clutter.

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