During a despairing state of regional revolution in 2013, how could a fun-loving brand like KIT KAT be relevant in people’s lives? The media consumption of KIT KAT’s target audience, A20-35 Busy Go-Getters had been evolving to include more digital content. However, the chocolate category was shy on innovation and not meeting their needs. Brands were most comfortable with TV-led communication and hijacking popular formats in a race to “out-sponsor” one another.
While KIT KAT is a strong brand with a highly recognizable product, we didn’t have the spending fire-power of our competitors and were being outspent 8-to-1 in traditional media.
Realizing a fight in traditional media was not a way to win, KIT KAT needed to focus to focus on its “strengths”. The KIT KAT Facebook page had a large following, much more so than its competitors. Despite receiving infrequent communication from the brand and low engagement from consumers, we understood the potential of KIT KAT’s social media platform and set out on a mission to crack an innovative campaign that will set it apart in the category.
We were challenged with elevating KIT KAT to a position of digital leadership in the chocolate category, while remaining true to the brand essence of putting a smile in people’s breaks. Online, content is king. Extensive research uncovered three truths about what resonated with the core target:
1. They dream of making it big - attracted to and inspired by local talent
2. Humorous content keeps them most engaged
3. Connect with and most receptive to Reality programs
These insights led us to develop the KIT KAT Comedy Break Show - the first ever Arabic online comedy reality show to find Arabia’s biggest comedy talent, to give our audience a much-needed break during troubled times.
First, our four celebrity judges Tony Abou Jaoude, Ali Al Sayed, Shaima Al Sayed and Fahad Al Butairi inspired people to submit their own videos through recruitment videos. These videos were syndicated on social networks, seeded in native content and geo and interest targeted. We drove hundreds of entries from a typically low-involvement audience through TV, print & digital media and press coverage.
Then the actual show began. Nine amateur comedians were flown to Dubai to compete for KIT KAT’s Funniest Arab. During their 10 day stay in the Comedy Break Villa, they were coached and tested. From pranks to helicopter rides, to improvisation classes and stand-up challenges, everything was planned to bring out their comedy skills.
From hours of footage, we created ten 10-15 minute long episodes and released one every Sunday on KIT KAT’s website and YouTube channel. Social conversations drove 3MM earned media impressions and were used continuously to adapt future episodes.
Throughout the show, KIT KAT was integrated seamlessly into the experiences through products and branding on set and an episode filmed in the KIT KAT factory.
Comedy Break Show content was distributed through two hubs – kitkatcomedybreak.com and a YouTube channel. On both platforms viewers could watch episodes and additional content, discuss, vote and win prizes for themselves.
Content was shared across Facebook and Twitter to followers, fans, friends of fans and interest-based audiences in Arabic and English.
Extending further, digital banners and video placements were geo and interest targeted through data optimization to serve the most appropriate ad for each impression.
We didn’t stop there. KIT KAT’s Arab Idol sponsorship was leveraged on TV, Radio and Digital properties to direct people to Comedy Break Show content.
The response from the Arab world even surpassed our expectations. The Arab world welcomed KIT KAT’s efforts to change the mood of the region, which helped us promote the show even further. Before the episodes were launched in February 2013, we transformed KIT KAT’s Owned and Earned media infrastructure. It went from overdependence on Facebook and lack of interaction between platforms, to a fully integrated, multi-platform experience across a custom website, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
KIT KAT became the chocolate category leader in digital communications, with Twitter and YouTube fan bases built from scratch to regional Top 3 for FMCG. KIT KAT Arabia Facebook page is now ranked #1. The brand dominated online conversations, with over 50% of all social chatter in a crowded category (vs. 35% previously).
KIT KAT gained relevancy, increasing 8% in ‘provide value to my break’, 7% in likeability, and 4% in recommendations.
It ultimately contributed to a sales increase of 8% vs. the same time period last year.