May 11, 2011 08:01 ET

Canada: Help Free Tree Boy (#FREETREEBOY)

Skittles® Calls Upon the Nation to Support Tree Boy's College Dreams!

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 11, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a video and a photo associated with this press release.

Skittles® is rallying supporters from all across the land, the land of Canada to be precise, to help Tree Boy™ achieve his dream of going to college in a fun, interactive grassroots 'movement' called Free Tree Boy.

Meet Douglas Birch, an average kid until one day he began sprouting an amazing Skittles® branch from his belly button. Blessed with this rare gift, Douglas, better known as Tree Boy, has spent his life as a hard working, candy-sharing teen with very few worries – he doesn't have to shower, be concerned about what he's wearing and has never suffered sunburns due to the ability to produce his own shade. Now, at age 18, he longs to explore life beyond his back yard and achieve his dream of going to college.

Between now and June 30, 2011, Canadians can visit and provide him with invaluable career advice by voting for where he should go to school and what he should study. With no current access to a guidance councilor, Tree Boy is relying on Canadians to help him make this very important life decision as he prepares to embrace his dreams. With the support from Canadians, Tree Boy can be relaxing in the quad, studying and laughing with friends as they enjoy the Skittles® candies that fall gently from his branches by September this year. Tree Boy's current choices are:

  • McGinko University. Major: Tree Med.
  • University of Arborta. Major: Saponomics.
  • University of Waterwillow. Major: Squirrel Structural Engineering.
  • University of Tupelo. Major: Rural Planning.

"Tree Boy's story embodies the spirit of youth and the importance of being free to embrace life's great adventures," says Dan Alvo, Director of Marketing, Wrigley Canada. "This program is a fun, interactive way for Canadian Skittles® fans to reflect on their own goals while they help Tree Boy live his dream of going to college."

Canadians can also proudly show their support for Tree Boy by wearing one of six limited edition Freedom Bands, which are free to consumers when they purchase specially marked packages of Skittles® candy in-store. Offer is available from April 25th to July 31st 2011. In addition to specially marked packages in-store, Canadians can also get free Freedom Bands online at Each band includes a special Freedom message to show support for Tree Boy and anyone else who hopes to achieve their dreams.

"Skittles® fans have come to expect the unexpected, and the Free Tree Boy movement is another example of the brand's promise of endless possibilities" says Alvo.

To help launch the Free Tree Boy program, world-renowned chalk artist Julian Beever will travel to Canada to rally support by creating a one-of-a-kind, 3-D Free Tree Boy chalk art display. The art will serve as a message to all Canadians with or without a Skittles® tree growing from them, that with hard work, and help from friends, they can achieve their dreams. Tree Boy enthusiasts in the Toronto area can watch Julian Beever's creative expression of Tree Boy's future come to life June 11 – 14, 2011 at the Toronto Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto.

Tree Boy is a fictional character created for a recent Skittles commercial. However, Canadians can still learn more about Tree Boy's story by watching the commercial that introduced him to the world and voting for what and where they want him to study at college at

About Skittles®:

Skittles® are bite-sized chewy candies with colourful candy shells. Available in Canada, Skittles® has a wide variety of products, with five flavours in every pack. Today, more than 200 million Skittles® candies are produced on a daily basis, with an average of 42 Skittles® candies in a single serve package. Touch the Rainbow. Taste the Rainbow.

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About Wrigley

Wrigley is a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies and lollipops. The company has operations in more than 40 countries and distributes its world-famous brands in more than 180 countries. Three of these brands — Wrigley's Spearmint®, Juicy Fruit®, and Altoids® — have heritages stretching back more than a century. Other well-loved Wrigley brands include Doublemint®, Life Savers®, Big Red®, Winterfresh®, Extra®, Starburst®, Orbit® and 5® Wrigley is headquartered in Chicago, IL and operates as a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, based in McLean, VA, with Mars Canada Inc. offices in two greater Toronto area (GTA) communities: the confectionery plant in Newmarket, ON, and the pet and food plants in Bolton, ON.

© 2011 Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. All Rights Reserved. Skittles, Tree Boy, Tree Boy Icon, Taste the Rainbow and all affiliated designs are trademarks of Uno Sugar Canada, Inc. or its subsidiaries.

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