Ads And Ends -- Nanette Franco-Diyco

Take a break!

Posted on August 24, 2012

WE HAVE been exposed to adaptations of a delightful global TV campaign of Nestlé’s Kit Kat for years now. They were undoubtedly good creative buys from Day 1. I remember a news reporter in an evening newscast purportedly caught by the TV camera ravenously biting into a big bar of Kit Kat. Then he shamefacedly realized he was already on air.

Similar situations propelled the campaign further. There was a TV version with a news reporter following a traffic report. Ditto, of another news reporter this time doing a weather forecast. Always, there’s the surprise element of being caught unceremoniously by the cameras biting into a Kit Kat. The communications strategy for Kit Kat is global; conceptualizing executions is done on a local level.

This year, I was surprised and pleased to catch a totally different execution of the Kit Kat break. The entire TV commercial was made part and parcel of the network’s coverage of the UAAP basketball series. And unlike the past years, where the breaks were deliberately inserted as the TV networks’ breakspots of 15-seconders, the Kit Kat break is now a lively full 30-seconder, complete with song and dance.

Best of all, the timing of the placement is so precise. I was watching the very exciting Ateneo-FEU basketball game over the weekend. For a couple of seconds, I actually thought there was an honest-to-goodness time-out called by the UAAP referees. The Kit Kat referees acted and danced so well, they could have been part of the half break entertainment provided by the competing schools.

Karen Alba, consumer marketing manager of Kit Kat revealed that this above-the-line material is a continuation of a digital campaign that was the brainchild of McCann Erickson entitled “Everybody Break Now.” It has grown to be the main handle of this year’s Kit Kat communications. The digital campaign began in March with a promotional interactive consumer-generated video which flowed into the digital campaign during Mother’s Day.

Thus was born “Dan, the Breakinator,” who is unraveled by Karen as “the Kit Kat personality enhancing the break.” In real life, he is Eric Tai, a 6-foot rugby player, a member of the Philippine Volcanoes. This fellow sings and dances, making him the ideal Kit Kat man launching the digital promo and radio commercial in March.

The mainstream TV commercial now on air was produced this time by JWT. “Everything came together when our media agency, Zenith Optimedia, recommended a high affinity event and Studio 23 tie-up with UAAP.” I must say that this whole marketing effort ties in perfectly with the primary target market of the product. Even Dan of the Volcanoes exemplifies its target market.

If you monitor the UAAP sponsors, many of them are top fast food advertisers. When you are sitting enthralled, watching a two- to three-hour coverage with friends or family, you would most likely order food for delivery -- capping every order with a Kit Kat.

Dan, the Breakinator, gives the referees who are stressed out a Kit Kat, “enabling the good break.” One of the tips for stress management is to make sure you have a perk-upper for the day. JWT, McCann and Zenith Optimedia all aim for Kit Kat to be this perk-upper.

Credits. Client-company, Nestlé Philippines. Karen Alba, consumer marketing manager, Kit Kat; Rica Esteban-Mier, business unit manager, confectionery; Sandra Puno, communications director. Advertising agency, JWT; Leo Mercado, JWT production head. Production house, Straight Shooters, Pancho Esguerra, director.