David Schwimmer Is Starring in a Skittles Super Bowl Ad You Will Never See

Skittles’ approach to Super Bowl advertising this year may take the high-concept cake... er... brightly colored candy.



NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: David Schwimmer attends the Broadway Opening Night performance of "The Front Page" at the Broadhurst Theatre on October 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)

Photo by: Walter McBride

Walter McBride

Super Bowl ads can get pretty high concept and weird, but Skittles’ approach to Super Bowl advertising this year may really take the cake... er... brightly colored candy.

The concept is this: None of us will ever see Skittles’ Super Bowl ad, which, typical of many such ads, will star a bona fide celebrity, David Schwimmer, of “Friends” fame. That’s because the 60-second spot will not actually be broadcast on TV during the Super Bowl or anywhere ever. (Skittles acknowledges your objection that an ad that does not air during the Super Bowl is not a Super Bowl ad in this video.)

Semantics aside, the ad will be seen by just one (purportedly randomly chosen, but possibly fictitious?) person, a teenage Skittles’ fan named Marcos Menendez, from Canoga Park, Calif., during the Super Bowl, and what the rest of us will see — live on Facebook — is Menendez’s reaction to the ad.

Yeah … wacky.

“Every other advertiser is going out there and showing their ad to 100 million people,” Matt Montei, vice president of fruit confections at Skittles’ parent company Mars, told Adweek. “We want to be the one brand who has the most exclusive ad in Super Bowl history.”

Less exclusive, however, are four teasers for the never-to-be-seen (except by Menendez) ad, which also star Schwimmer. Skittles recently released them for all to see.

In them, Schwimmer plays four different, rather peculiar characters, any one of which — or, I guess, none of which — could be a taste of what he’ll be playing in that ad Menendez will watch, as we watch Menendez watch it. (I know, whoa.)

In one of the 15-second teasers, Schwimmer, rocking a ‘70s vibe with graying hair and a patchy-looking moustache, feeds Skittles to an Animatronic sandwich and then yells at the sandwich when it threatens to spill the beans on the content of the commercial.

The company insists it really and truly has no intention of ever showing the complete commercial to anyone but Menendez. Not even to Schwimmer himself.

So why would Schwimmer, who is not in a habit of appearing in commercials, agree to appear in this one for an audience of one?

Apparently, the idea just cracked him up. “I just thought the idea itself was so subversive,” he told the Chicago Tribune, noting that, as a veteran stage actor, he’s used to performing for very small audiences.

Schwimmer also apparently used his acting chops to delve into the backstories for each of his characters, telling AdAge that he and the Animatronic sandwich “have a long history.”

“It's a companion and possibly and ex-lover,” he said. “It's not revealed, exactly."

So much mystery for one little bite-size candy. But the Skittles mystery currently raging on social media is actually this: Do all the colors of Skittles actually taste the same? One researcher says yes; Skittles says no, Today reports.

Maybe someone should ask the Animatronic sandwich?

Photo credit: GettyImages, Walter McBride / Contributor

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