To mark its 85th anniversary, KitKat took its iconic slogan, “Have a break, have a KitKat,” to the next (and literal) level. A Wunderman Thompson agency creation, the digital-first #ABreakForHaveABreak interactive campaign asked fans and followers to generate a soundalike slogan under this hashtag. As one of the world’s most recognized and longest running taglines, pressing pause allowed KitKat to reinforce all that the line stands for and enable it to return refreshed and ready to go for the many more years ahead. Presented with a unique opportunity, the creative team decided to build on a simple and clever idea to use the brand’s most famous property to strengthen KitKat’s message and celebrate the comforting moment.

Bringing together the playful spirit of the brand and the memorable nature of “Have a break, have a KitKat”, the fun and fresh concept of this campaign naturally evolved. While the catchphrase took a mini-break of its own for ten days in October, the team introduced a social media contest featuring a participatory element and an AI online slogan generator. With the minimal concept of this campaign and the context of the KitKat anniversary in mind, the brand aimed to reconnect the public with the name in a meaningful and modern way. 

“KitKat is not a brand short of fans or long-term loyalists. This campaign rewarded them with the rare opportunity to have a say and play with [its] most famous brand asset, flex their own creativity, and be part of the brand’s history,” explained Loren Hargreaves, global account lead, Nestlé KitKat, at Wunderman Thompson.

“This campaign sought to bring KitKat closer to its consumers [on] a much more emotional level, bonding them over a shared special celebration beyond the usual impulse buy at the till.”

Activated across multiple social channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube at both a global and market level, this celebratory campaign reached a diverse audience and stimulated vast and varied participation. Throughout the #ABreakForHaveABreak campaign, the company posted daily, motivating users and brands to get involved and using a different tactic to inspire new entries. As part of its central strategy, the team launched an AI bot to provide participants with a little extra help to come up with their submission. A list of big-name brands such as Krispy Kreme, Yorkshire Tea, and Fruit Pastilles participated in this campaign, too, and helped to spread the word. Following the social contest, Jeremy Bullmore, legendary creator and one-time creative director and chairman of J. Walter Thompson, selected the winning entry. The prize: An enviable and anniversary-appropriate 85-hour stay for two at a luxury hotel, all compliments of the KitKat brand.

“[For each day of #ABreakForHaveABreak, KitKat also announced a top slogan as its ‘Pick of the Day’ to recognize the public’s efforts and stimulate further engagement. From these picks, Jeremy Bullmore, being privy to the creation of the original slogan in 1957, was called upon for the deciding vote. His choosing of the selected winner helped to bring the 85-year anniversary full circle, celebrating the old and recognizing the new,” Hargreaves noted. 

“Combined with planned brand outreach and PR amplification throughout this campaign, its naturally shareable nature fostered a buzz and continuing engagement without the need for large media investment. In fact, only 4-5 of KitKat’s markets required paid media support behind the campaign assets].” During this time of global uncertainty, many people are experiencing and coping with stress, anxiety, and depression more than ever. With the increase of health and safety measures such as sanitizing, mask wearing, and social distancing, across countries and cultures, individuals are valuing positivity, connectivity, self-care, and “a good old break from it all.” 

While snacking on a treat won’t solve the ongoing impact of COVID-19, taking a break can help to establish a more positive mindset. 

“In such a world, KitKat will continue to be the champion of breaks, inspiring us within our new-found context, plentiful of digital interaction and virtual connection. Digitalization will continue to be integral to KitKat’s marketing strategy and will only strengthen as our accessibility to the physical world wanes,” Hargreaves added. 

“In light of our new cultural reality, many marketing strategies are being explored and designed, but all with the same, ever-important premise to inspire people far and wide to have a break.”

The #ABreakForHaveABreak challenge received a vast amount of attention from the public and fans of the iconic brand:

  • YouTube impressions: 6,788,246 (+12% higher than estimated)
  • Facebook and Instagram impressions: 187,493,125 
  • Audience reach on Facebook and Instagram: 67,649,312, delivering 8,781,725 engagements at a lower CPM than forecast
  • Twitter engagements: 172,991. The campaign overperformed across all Twitter benchmarks and campaign estimations

The purpose of driving all of this engagement was far deeper than a quick injection of sales. Rather, it reinvigorated the KitKat brand’s fundamental purpose and ethos to fans old and new in an interactive way, prompting conversations around a positioning that has stood for decades.

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