Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?
Sponsorships are perfect reach and awareness builders. But when KitKat started to lose association with its iconic ‘break’ platform, it wasn’t enough to typically sponsor the biggest TV show in the region. We needed to make people live the brand experience seamlessly with the program to reignite love and attention.
By blurring the lines between real TV and commercial breaks, KitKat shattered all stereotypical perceptions people had about breaks during their favorite TV shows. We recreated the program’s stage and used key elements of the show to create a continuous story, immersing viewers in the brand experience like never before.
KitKat and “Break” have been inseparable for the past 62 years.
For the last few years, the chocolate category has witnessed a decline. In order to grow business and bring back excitement to the category, KitKat’s focus shifted from equity and communicating its iconic 2-Finger & 4-Finger chocolate, to focusing on innovations: from raspberry to cheesecake to tiramisu, we went all out, and it paid off. These exciting new flavors helped drive market share and business: short term gains.
However, this also allowed other brands to gain traction in the “break” territory (brand health study showed a drop in KitKat associations with “satisfies your break”) and threatened to affect our core business.
We needed to react and reclaim back the “Break Territory”.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
Commercial breaks… No one likes them and people usually zap and leave them.
So, instead of going for a typical sponsorship, KitKat blurred the line between live TV and the break, by creating a real ‘commercial break hijack’.
By doing so, KitKat shattered all stereotypical perceptions people had about commercial breaks and made the break experience a totally seamless one.
Describe the strategy (20% of vote)
Our core audience are 18-34 year-olds (Gen Z + Millennials). They decide what’s in and what’s not, and fuel the category growth with a high influence on household purchases.
While they're currently aware of and consume KitKat, they are always ready to try new brands and products. In this impulse category, they gravitate towards Top of Mind brands. The challenge is to therefore find smart ways to push Top of Mind and keep consideration high.
We wanted to reach our audience effectively. And so, the perfect opportunity was to go after one of the most popular global TV formats, and the highest rated TV show among our Target Audience in the region: The Voice.
But we had to do it differently and avoid the risk of losing our audience as soon as the break went live (very short attention span, juggling different screens, boring 5 sec sponsorships etc…).
Describe the execution (30% of vote)
Our TVC appeared in the first ad spot: we created an exact replica of the program’s stage, so when the program goes on a break, the Voice ‘chairs’ come to life and take a break too; leaving the audience confused whether the program was still on, or not.
Three different TV spots complemented the 3 different stages of the program.
We also created a Break Room for contestants; with a secret door linking the break on and off screen.
The campaign expanded to in-store promos, E-commerce, radio, stunt and social, where we had “behind the scenes” featuring funny content of the chairs on a break.
On Youtube, we targeted people searching for re-runs of the program and urged them to skip the ad, so that the chairs can enjoy a peaceful break.
In malls, we tricked people by having a replica of the chairs come to life and surprise them.
List the results (30% of vote)
KitKat revolutionized the use of sponsorships in the region.
We generated unprecedented top of mind awareness for the brand.
Recall: 73% (vs 49% benchmark)
Brand linkage: 87% (vs 47% benchmark)
Purchase Intent: 86% would definitely buy it (vs 52% benchmark)
Not only that but repurchase grew by 6% vs pre-campaign: a great result considering the category is driven by lack of loyalty and massive impulse!
Not only did KitKat successfully reach its core audience, but the campaign also led to higher equity and saliency amongst non-users of KitKat! Metrics such as:
“A brand I love” increased by 14%
“Helps make my break more enjoyable” increased by 11%
“Is good for uplifting moments/improves my mood” increased by +14%
And with a staggering 93% spontaneous awareness.
Most importantly, BREAK once again meant having a KITKAT!