The New KitKat & YouTube Campaign is Completely Flawed

7 Aaron Falloon

Nestle’s new marketing initiative will see the famous KitKat wrapper reimagined 72 times in an attempt to encourage chocolate lovers to “celebrate the breakers break”. One of the designs will feature a YouTube themed makeoverThis has garnered much coverage and praise from marketing experts and bloggers – but there’s one massive problem with this campaign and I’ll explain what it is below.

When a colleague mentioned the Nestle and YouTube collab yesterday morning, I was chomping at the bit to find out as much as I could about what the two colossal companies had produced. After all, Nestle have recently emerged as digital marketing trail-blazers for household brands with their early adoption of programmatic advertising – and YouTube… well they’re YouTube.

I envisioned myself using so many marketing buzzwords to describe this campaign that even advertising execs at Ogilvy would be feeling a little dizzy if they ever happened to gaze upon the post. I expected to be typing words and phrases to the effect of innovation, bleeding-edge technology, repositioning the brand, appealing to millennials whilst describing a fully integrated campaign.

Although an argument could be had that Nestle have made an effort to reposition KitKat as the younger generation’s favourite chocolate bar by aligning themselves with YouTube and the campaign is somewhat original, making use of a decade old video sharing platform doesn’t count as bleeding-edge tech. But where I believe the campaign truly falls short is the integration between offline and online channels.

Here’s how they fail so greatly…

The redesigned wrapper instructs the buyer to “take a YouTube break”, whilst Google have been inviting users to search “KitKat YouTube my break”. Once these instructions are followed, we swiftly make the transition from offline to the web… And then… Then we’re served with one video… one measly video of a TV ad supporting the campaign which is hosted on KitKat’s YouTube channel.

It’s just, well, disappointing.

Nestle have definitely missed a trick here. An integrated campaign shouldn’t just mean getting your audience online, an integrated campaign should have something to offer once they are there. Something that allows the audience to continue their journey and interact with the brand further – a video that can be viewed by anyone at anytime lacks the personable, exclusive touch that is needed here.

Rather than digesting content that is worth celebrating the breakers break and feeling enthused about the whole experience, the consumer is left feeling dejected and a little bit let down by KitKat. Rather than capitalising on the opportunity an authentic integrated campaign presents and creating a new batch of brand advocates, Nestle will lose customers at a key stage of the buying cycle.

I recognise the courage in the idea and it is refreshing to see big brands at least attempting to use digital in new ways. However it ends up being a flimsy attempt of an integrated campaign and a shadow of what might have been, rather than being the real deal.