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Skittles & The Weird pt. 4

Don't forget part 1, part 2, and part 3 of this series.

For the final part of this Weird Skittles series, I wanted to first say a few things about the Skittles commercials that I don't like so much.


The kind of "weird" in these commercials isn't a very meaningful, poignant, or relatable kind of weird. Therefore, I'm not a big fan of it. Essentially, this kind of weird is about surprising the audience by showing the unexpected. Unfortunately, like so many jokes, the value/effect of the commercial wears off over time and after repeated viewings.

  • In the sheep boys commercial, the two sheep boys discuss the unconventionality of the blended flavors in the Smoothie Skittles while unadmittedly represent two uniquely blended creatures. The farmer at the end tells she sheep boys to "stop that jibberjabberin;" a line that entertains but offers little to no real substance.



  • Mr. Extreme in the commercial above is all about shock value. He looks crazy, wears an albino boa constrictor, rides a tiger elephant, and wields a flame staff. Somehow this man enters the scenario, and he leaves abruptly on a helicopter. I can't think of any common life experiences that I can relate to the events in this commercial. I think the only take away is that the Skittles are extreme and so was the weird style.


  • The elements in this tropical Skittles commercial never came together for me. A random rainbow in the hallway becomes a portal to a tropical island where a strange and friendly man shares some of his candy. After the boy gets the Skittles with the "three new flavors" he leaves the rainbow portal only to find a girl waiting for him back in the hallway. How is any of this relevant or similar to common life experiences? What's the message of the commercial? I don't know.


Now I'll close out this series with 2 good commercials. The difference should be clear.


  • The message in this one is simple. Don't judge people by their looks. When the office worker hit the piñata man with a bat, he was simply acting under the principles of "form fits function." While this principle is essential in video games, it doesn't directly apply to life. Discrimination is an ugly thing.


  • This commercial plays off of the mysteriousness of dreams. To get away from his current classroom situation, the boy drops a handful of Skittles into his mouth. The candy wisks the boy off into a day dream like place. In the dream, the boy impresses the angel with his ripping muscles (literally). Unfortunately, the Skittles effect wears off and the boy snaps out of his day dream. Eager to continue where he left off, the boy quickly gobbles down another handful of Skittles. This time things are different. The angel flexes her incredible muscles right back and they form a majestic rainbow power fist together. Like with real dreams, it's hard to resume a dream after being woken up. Such is life, like Skittles; different every time we try. 


And that does it for Skittles & The Weird. I hope you got something colorful out of these mini analyses.

If you have any commercials you would like my feedback on, feel free to send them my way.



Reader Comments (4)

Just found these weird shorts from Boing Boing. I love weird stuff and the Japanese are hard to top. The site looks Safe for Work, despite the name.

The golf one does a neat twist on the angry golfer. This golfer seems to be rather calm and playing the game correctly and with good form. Unfortunately, the course still doesn't agree, and it actively prevents him from finishing the whole. Then it uses some odd applications of Form fits Function, and the situation gets even worse.

The mermaid one mixes up our conceptions of mermaids as cute and innocent (The Little Mermaid, Weeki Wachi Springs) with older, more dangerous legends, such as the sirens in Greek mythology. I don't think this one is as weird or good as the first one though.

March 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBryan Rosander

@ Bryan

The basic creative twist to each animation is neat, but I didn't like just about everything else about them. The cuts were too long. The animation quality was lazy. The gore was a bit over the top in the golf short.

I don't mean to slam the videos you brought up. Do you have any thing else from Japan that you think/like for its weirdness?

I've grown up on Japanese weirdness so perhaps I'm a bit used to it. Or perhaps a lot of their weirdness falls under the low level "shock value" category. hmmm.

I agree the gore was over the top.

Cromartie High School is an Anime parody series about punk high school students. Some of the weirdness is shock value. For instance, when the main character first comes to the school, he drops a pencil, and the person next to him eats the pencil. Then the main character dumps all his pencils, and the person eats them all at once. This was a demonstration that the punks at this school are tough, but sometimes tough in ways that people aren't supposed to be.

Better examples include some of the other students / classmates. One of the students is a robot. Only a few of the students realize he is a robot, despite looking like a giant tin can with arms and legs. Several times throughout the series, he gets broken and repaired, and despite the weird effects of that repair (turned into a motorcycle once), everyone else still treats him as another human student. His own dialog shows he even treats himself as a human student, sometimes talking about his emotions. This goes so far that the people who know he is a robot question their own observations. He has a "smaller brother" who looks very similar but is smaller and speaks in bleeps. the smaller brother has smaller versions of the same weirdness.

One of the students is a gorilla. Throughout the series, the gorilla participates in activities with the other students, despite not being able to speak. This includes at least playing baseball and apprenticing at a Sushi restaurant. Especially at the sushi restaurant, the owner treats him as his own son after he teaches the owner and his real son valuable lessons in the importance of family. Finally, the gorilla is led away by the police and the father is grounded again in reality.

Other weird situations include someone who masquerades as another person, a man who uses puppets to talk and the leader treats the puppets as real while his subordinates do not, to their demise. One character mistakenly came to the wrong school with the intention of becoming the local school leader with the support of his parent's power. After that failed, he started a series of ridiculous lies, gathering the support of the people he tried to control earlier, but forcing him to tell even more ridiculous stories.

Almost every episode focuses on the differences in perception between different people, including the viewer, the source, and different mixes of people in the classroom. Often, people try to make a situation better by proposing a complicated explanation or solution that only makes things worse for the person with the hidden knowledge.

Some other series I have called weird that I still remember include Earth Defender Mao-chan, Ranma 1/2, Urusei Yatsura, High School Kimengumi, Martian Successor Nadesico (A lot more going on here than just weird), and a ton of others that I can't remember.
Besides the differing perceptions theme, a common weirdness is using everyday objects for purposes they weren't intended for. Often they will be used as a weapon, which often adds new "game mechanics" and shock value, but the weirdness is all the same. The fighting game Guilty Gear did a lot of this, including at least an anchor, teddy bear, yoyo, and monstrous creatures as weapons in weird ways.

Webcomics have a lot of weirdness too, including some which definitely have some interesting variations.

March 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBryan Rosander

@ Bryan

Ah, Cromartie High School. I've seen an episode or two. Good example. You also described the weird elements of the show very well.

Keep it up.

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