Skittles’ Holiday Pawn Shop reopens

People can once again trade in unwanted gifts, but this time they can also win candy-coated possessions from celebrities.
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Canadians don’t have to settle for disappointing gifts this holiday season as Wrigley Canada prepares to open the doors to the Skittles Holiday Pawn shop once again.

Much like last year, any Canadian who has received a less-than-stellar gift can visit the Pawn Shop at 277 Queen Street West in Toronto from Dec. 26 to 30 and trade it in for free packages of Skittles, depending on the value of what they are pawning. People who can’t make it to the shop in person can submit a photo of their unwanted gift online and have it instantly appraised.

And, once again, “Dale the Deal Maker” will be on site to make appraisals in person.

New to this year’s Pawn Shop is a contest, where Canadians can win “pawned” possessions covered in Skittles candy from various Canadian celebrities, like sneakers from the Raptors’ Kyle Lowry or a briefcase from Toronto city councillor Norm Kelly. There are also items from musicians Lights and The Arkells, as well as the Calgary Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau up for grabs. The items will also be on display on the shop.

Canadians can enter the contest by taking of photo of themselves inside the Pawn Shop or with some Skittles in a location of their choosing and uploading to it Instagram with the hashtag #SkittlesPawn.

“Like any good pawn shop you go into when you’re looking for collectables, there’s always a couple impressive items on display,” says Laura Amantea, marketing director at Wrigley Canada. “We’re still delivering the magic we had in year one, but this year we wanted to do something more meaningful. We looked at different verticals of individuals who have an affinity and passion for the Skittles brand and found things that what would appeal to them and their lifestyles.”

Amantea says this year’s Pawn Shop is based on the same simple insight as last year’s: that 75% of Canadians have been disappointed by a bad holiday gift at one point in their lives. But she also says the first Pawn Shop showed the company that what made it a success was that it delivered on Skittles’ happiness-bringing brand promise in what might otherwise be a moment of disappointment.

“What we learned is that Skittles is a brand that Canadians want to interact and have fun with,” says Amantea. “Among all the things we go through in daily life, Skittles has a unique place in the hearts and minds of Canadians by offering little moments of spontaneity and humour. That’s quite a gift as a marketer to be able deliver to Canadians.”

Creative and digital strategy for the campaign was handled by Tribal Worldwide Toronto, media by MediaCom, activation by MediaCom Beyond Advertising and PR and influencer relations by Harbinger.