WUNDERMAN THOMPSON, Sydney / NESTLE / 2022
Why is this work relevant for PR?
This idea created controversy and conversation with KitKat at the centre, to make 'Have a break' relevant to a new audience.
Rather than broadcasting a traditional message, we tapped into an existing conversation to create as much earned media as possible.
It used Tiktok organically and authentically, partnering with creators to co-create triggering content that would fuel debate in their own unique ways.
Once we'd stoked the controversy, we then amplified it nationally through owned channels, paid social and PR activity.
The campaign featured in a 2minute national news segment and was named one of 2021's most Contagious campaigns.
‘Have a break, Have a KitKat’ has been an iconic brand idea for 65 years. But to young people, iconic just means old, and it was losing relevance with a younger Gen Z audience.
We needed to make an ‘old’ campaign excite a new generation and encourage them to start owning one of the most iconic brand ideas ever, in a way that was actually relevant to them, particularly given they didn't have the same strong connection to it that previous generations did.
The aim was to generate as much earned media as possible, in an authentic way via social channels, and build relevance around the brand and product among the Gen Z audience.
Describe the creative idea
For a few years, the internet had shown signs of rejecting the classic KitKat ritual, choosing to take one giant bite rather than 'breaking' the bar as it had been done for decades - causing much consternation among KitKat purists.
So rather than trying to persuade or pressure this new generation to simply adopt ‘Have a break’ as their own, we saw an opportunity to make them actually fight for it.
For the first time, we acknowledged the long-running debate to do some strategic triggering, inviting our audience to reject the famous product ritual altogether.
By giving them license to 'Have a bite', especially using a channel like TikTok where our audience were engaging with each other, we knew the results would generate some passionate discussion. We then amplified that discussion through Twitter, Instagram and PR to maximise the cultural moment and create a national story.
Describe the PR strategy
Our sceptical Gen-Z audience doesn't want to be told what to do by brands. So instead of over-investing in paid media, our strategy was to seed a conversation through social, to create a cultural moment they would want to be part of.
We identified that the way people ate KitKats had proved controversial in the past, so reignited the debate. To ensure it triggered a response, we needed to make it feel as organic as possible and not manufactured by the brand.
We carefully selected Tiktok creators based on their active audiences and content style, giving them flexibility to create content based on our brief, in a way that they knew would resonate with their followers.
The triggering nature of the issue meant that there’d be some controversy – controversy we could amplify to maximise our earned media. We then stoked that with bespoke packaging sent to influencers and publications.
Describe the PR execution
We began by partnering with a series of TikTok creators to trigger their followers by taking one big bite from their KitKat instead of 'breaking' a finger the official way.
Sure enough, the internet reacted in a big way and debate raged, creating a huge amount of conversation in the first 48 hours. When the controversy was at its peak, KitKat took the opportunity to break their silence.
A special cut of the recent brand TVC starring Aussie screen legend Michael Caton officially acknowledged the issue and asked 'Is this wrong?', before a packaging re-design distributed to influencers and media, and live social interactions with other brands and Aussie celebs, extended the debate. Social polls found a humorous way to keep the issue hot while news outlets picked up on it.
An issue that was so polarising that it was covered in a 2 minute segment on national news.
List the results
4.3 million views in 48 hours
11.16% Tiktok engagement (about 4X the market benchmark)
27M social impressions (50% over KPI)
149% uplift in mentions
56.3M in PR reach
2 minute segment on national news
Please tell us about the social behaviour that inspired the work
The internet has had its own ideas about the 'best ways' to eat a KITKAT for years, with people posting their own pictures and videos of them taking a giant bite from Kitkat bars. Even Kourtney Kardashian has posted her own personal ritual in the past.
Those posts are often pretty triggering, creating lots of outraged, shocked and horrified reactions with people calling each other 'monster' or saying the behaviour is 'barbaric'. Some even believe it's 'illegal'. The debate seems to be endless.
Kitkat themselves had never entered into the debate. Until now.