What You Didn't Know About The Skittles Musical

Have you ever seen a commercial on your television or your computer and found yourself wondering, "Has advertising gone too far?" Could it be that advertising has become so big and overblown that it sometimes loses sight of what it's even trying to sell by being so flashy?

While you could argue that sentiment with anyone with a degree in marketing, you can't deny that advertising seems to have become more complicated with time. Take, for example, Budweiser's famous Super Bowl ads, which do everything to tug the heartstrings of the viewer or make them laugh and cheer (via CNN) — and what they're selling is a can of beer! Companies have to sell their product after all, and by God, they'll sell it to you in any way they can.

This may have been the mindset when Skittles launched their musical. By musical, we don't mean that Skittles dressed people up in Skittles costumes and had them parade on Broadway singing the joys of the rainbow — at least, they technically didn't. The "Skittles Musical" — fully titled "Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical" — can be best described as an experimental piece of theater that combines the likes of Samuel Beckett and Andrew Lloyd Webber with rainbow-colored candy designed for the Super Bowl. Described by Vulture as "corporate candy meta-theater," the "Skittles Musical" seems to transcend what we knew about the average big-budget Super Bowl commercial into something that sounds so absurd it must seen to be believed.

The Skittles Musical was an actual musical

Wait, Skittles aired a musical about candy during the Super Bowl? You certainly don't remember seeing anything like that, right? That's because according to SMUGGLER, the show itself never aired on TV. A promotion for the show was what aired, while the 30-minute Broadway show premiered live. Playbill tells us that the musical was performed in Town Hall, Times Square, on February 3, 2019 for one time only. The show starred Michael. C. Hall (best known for his work in "Dexter") and written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Eno.

What could this musical possibly have been about? Polygon describes a surreal experience that blends meta-commentary on the nature of advertising and the willingness of actors to shill products in humiliating ways. Probably not what you would expect from a play about Skittles. Michael. C. Hall plays himself, cavorting with the ghosts of Amelia Earhart and Winston Churchill in between songs that muse the entire play might have been a "bad idea." Polygon notes that this isn't some radical take on advertising or Skittles rejecting the idea of insane, nonsensical advertisements. It's still an ad at the end of the day, meant to sell consumers Skittles (somehow), and a nearly hour-long Broadway play was the medium to do it.

Better Marketing does say, however, that the "Skittles Musical" was one of the most successful Super Bowl ads to never air. At least it has that going for it.