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KitKat advertising analysis: Have a Break, Have a KitKat

Updated: May 28, 2021

You can listen to the podcast of this same blog post, here


I am sure KitKat has been one of the favorite chocolate for most of us.

So if I ever ask you to associate a few words that you can relate to the chocolate, it would be the red wrapper, the famous tagline of ‘Have a Break, Have a KitKat’, and many more things.


KitKat has, for years now, associated itself with this particular style of consuming it.

Taking the chocolate out of the red wrapper, creating a slit in the silver foil through your fingernails, breaking the biscuit, and then devouring the chocolaty biscuit goodness.

As a kid, it was this style of consuming the chocolate that hooked me up, and now as an adult, I don’t have it any other way!

In today’s blog post, we analyze the advertising communication of KitKat over the years and also try to understand how important a role did the tagline ‘Have a Break, Have a KitKat’, played in the success of the brand.

The post includes the following:

1. Brief History of Kitkat

2. The introduction and growth of the tagline ‘Have a Break, Have a KitKat’

3. Advertising Campaign analysis of KitKat in India

4. Advertising Learnings

Let’s look at each one of them in detail now

Watch the YouTube Video

1. Brief History of KitKat


KitKat was launched back in 1935 in London, back then the chocolate was called ‘Rowntree’s Chocolate Crisp’.

However, two years later it was renamed as ‘KitKat Chocolate Crisp’ and after World War II, the ‘chocolate crisp’ was dropped as well.

Back in those days, the flavor of the chocolate kept changing due to the unavailability of resources during and post the war period.

And this was the first and the last time, when the iconic red wrapper of KitKat was replaced with a blue one- that denoted lack of fresh milk.


The name ‘KitKat’ comes from Christopher Catling’s famous political and literary club called KitKat.

Today, the brand is present in more than 80 countries.

KitKat has been in India since 1995.

Fun Fact: With around 540 KIT KAT fingers consumed every second worldwide and 17.6 billion fingers sold every year, KIT KAT got featured in the Guinness Book of Records in March 2010.


2. The introduction and growth of the tagline ‘Have a Break, Have a KitKat’


The tagline ‘Have a Break, Have a KitKat was introduced back in 1958 by Donald Gillies, working at the ad agency JWT in London.

The launch of the tagline was made with 4 commercials and a press campaign.

After the launch, the consistent usage of the tagline has now made it an advertising icon in itself and is now a registered property of the brand.

The tagline had intended double meaning for the word ‘break’- first, the break associated with breaking the breaking the chocolate piece, and second, the break associating with resting.


Over the years, the brand and the advertising agencies using the slogan could come up with multiple alterations that helped the brand stick to the tagline.

It takes years for a brand to build something this iconic, and more than a building, be able to sustain it for a long time.

Today the tagline is used across the countries, and each country manages to add its own layer of creativity- that’s what makes the tagline so versatile.

From then, till now, the brand has ensured ‘no breaks’ when it comes to the tagline.

Barring one occasion.


This year, that is,2020 marked the 85th anniversary of the brand, and they decided to launch a global campaign on social media.

The campaign revolved around people coming up with a ‘soundalike’ variant of the tagline, while the brand takes a break from the original tagline for 10 days.

It was centered around a competition whereby, the best slogan/tagline would be picked at the end of the competition.


3. Advertising Campaign analysis of KitKat in India


KitKat has been responsible for some of the most iconic campaigns over the years, we will share a few of them here, in the order of past to present!


1. The adorable Squirrel Dance (2010)

As a kid, I remember this commercial distinctly, and over the years if I had to pick my favorite from the lot, it has to be this one.

The focus of the advertisement was to bring in a new spin to the usual tagline and there was a clear shift from the product usefulness to the benefit of the consumer.

The line ‘Zindagi Aapko shayad kuch haseen dikha de’ was highlighting the consumer benefit in this case.


2. Babies Dancing (2013)

Similar spin to the previous one, but here the line was slightly tweaked to ‘Na jaane aagla pal kya le aaye’.

The baby's dancing style has been incorporated by Evian for years now, and this campaign seemed very similar to that.

The ad focuses on you noticing something ‘good’ which you might have missed otherwise, had it not been for KitKat.

I feel the best part about this ad is the catchy tune, that makes you tap your feet and brings a wide smile on your face, watching the babies dance.


3. The Rapping Announcer (2016)

The tagline ‘Har break hai mauka, Kuch Alag Kar dikhaneka’ is again adding a new twist to the existing tagline.

And this ad truly highlighted the flexibility that the tagline brings in.

The execution was flawless, and it created this peculiar interest in the mind of the viewers, everyone needed the answer to ‘Will Verma make it?’ and hence you wanted to watch the video till the end.


4. KitKat Break with Ayushman (2020)

2020 was a different year, a year that demanded changes in the creative approach of the brand.

Keeping the same in mind, KitKat created a very relatable scenario of online classes.

They roped in Ayushman Khurana as the brand ambassador, thanks to his tremendous youth-centric following.

The communication was simple yet in the same zone of ‘break banta hai’!


4. Advertising Learnings


These learnings are a combination of all 4 advertising campaigns.


a. Tagline consistency helps in brand recall

If I were to only mention the tagline ‘Have a break, have a ___’ we would still be able to relate to the brand KitKat.

That’s the power of consistency, and it helps tremendously with brand recall.


b. Focus on customer experiences

One most important thing that can be observed through these ad campaigns is that they talk about customer experiences after consumption of the product.

And this helps the brand because consumers are constantly on the lookout for the answer to what’s in it for me?


c. Consistent brand colors create a stronger connection

This learning is not specific to the advertising campaigns but rather the product itself.

The red and silver packaging has been constant since the start; this helps consumers relate to the brand in a much more direct way.

 

Also read: Google Advertising Campaigns in India

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