Kit Kat Chunky

Off to a Good Start (BRONZE)
Best Insight (BRONZE)

Client Credits: Nestlé Canada
Terri Tinella, President, Nestlé Confectionery (November 2010 - present)
Sandra Martinez, President, Nestlé Confectionery
Gary Batey, Leader, Confectionery Marketing
Christine McLean, Marketing Manager, Kit Kat
Eryn Beard, Assistant Marketing Manager, Kit Kat
Acky Dinnepati, Consumer Insights
Ted Rideout, Consumer Communications
Ashley Edelstein, Marketing Manager
Ken Mahon, CCSD Leader Confectionery
Shawn Sokell, CCSD Confectionery
Joel Martins, AVA Leader Confectionery
Scott Houston, AMM AVA Confections
Jim Kotsiopoulos
Maria DiLeo

Agency Credits: JWT
Martin Shewchuk, Executive Creative Director
Martin Shewchuk, Director
Carolyn Bingham, VP Group Account Director
Craig Markou, Art Director, Group Creative Head
Colin Winn, Copywriter, Group Creative Head
Donna Heffernan, Head of Broadcast Production
Andrew Knight, Account Supervisor
Gillian Brown, Account Executive
Kathleen Dusk, Account Executive
Kim Carnahan, Vice President, Group Account Director
Aaron Wills, Account Director, ZenithOptimedia

Crossover Notes:
Crossover Notes: All winning cases contain lessons that cross over from one case to another. David Rutherford has been identifying these as Crossover Notes since CASSIES 1997. The full set for CASSIES 2012 can be downloaded from the Case Library section at

Crossover Note 2. Brand Truths.
Crossover Note 7. Fighting for the Same High Ground.
Crossover Note 9. Turnarounds.
Crossover Note 16. When a campaign stumbles.

To see creative, click on the links that are embedded in the case.


Business Results Period (Consecutive Months):January 2010 - January 2011.
Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: May 17, 2010.
Base Period as a Benchmark: Calendar 2009.

a) Overall Assessment
Kit Kat Chunky was launched in Canada in 2000 to regain the interest of lapsed Kit Kat 4-finger users and expand the franchise to include teens. Viewed as an adult brand, Kit Kat was not regarded as being particularly contemporary and was missing out completely on the teen segment – a demographic that accounts for over 25% of Canadian confectionery consumption [Footnote 1]. “Big eat” bars like Oh! Henry, Mars and Snickers had been fishing in this pool successfully – it was time for Kit Kat to target teens with a product suited to their big appetite. Plus, when the bar launched in the U.K. market in 1999 with the tagline “Have a BIG break!” it was extremely successful, sourcing much of its share from competitive “big eat” bars and growing to roughly the same size as Mars bar [Footnote 2]. With the U.K market as a model, Kit Kat Chunky was the opportunity to establish Kit Kat with the most important segment in the confectionery category. [Crossover Note 7]

Positioned in Canada as a “big eat gut-fill” to an 18-24 target with a male bias, the brand was supported by TV until 2005. Featuring young men engaged in less than intelligent banter while taking a break, the advertising expanded on the 4-finger creative idea of "if they deserve a break, you certainly do" and stayed true to the global equity in the historical tagline “have a break, have a Kit Kat.” Despite support, however, the business did not mirror the U.K. and the bar fell into decline [Footnote 3]. Something was amiss for the Canadian 18-24 consumer, but what? [Crossover Note 16]

By the end of 2009, the Kit Kat Chunky single bar was at risk of dropping out of the Top 20, holding #18 at -3% [Footnote 4]. Then, Kit Kat Chunky was delisted at WALMART. This had serious implications. The single bar lost close to 25 distribution points in a 24 month period, and once a bar drops out of the Top 20 the front-end space at point of sale is given to a competitor. To put this in perspective, this would mean losing distribution in the convenience channel completely.

The brand hadn’t been supported in close to 4 years, and Kit Kat was missing out on the most important demographic segment in the category. Something drastic needed to be done to turn the business around [Crossover Note 9] and prevent Kit Kat Chunky from being delisted at other retailers and dropping out of the Top 20 Single Bar ranking for good.

b) Resulting Business Objectives
• Increase Kit Kat Chunky’s position from #18 Single Bar into the Top 15 in 2010.

• Increase Awareness of Kit Kat Chunky with 18-34 olds.

c) Annual Media Budget
$1 - $2 million

d) Geographic Area
Nation-wide, English and French Canada.

Footnote 1: Product Development Brief, "Project Hercules". Nestlé, Canada. January 24, 2000.
Footnote 2: Product Development Brief, "Project Hercules". Nestlé, Canada. January 24, 2000.
Footnote 3: AC Nielsen data.
Footnote 4: AC Nielsen data.

a) Analysis and Insight
Consumer qualitative research of light, lapsed and loyal Kit Kat Chunky users, males 18-24, revealed three insights -- they don’t eat the bar for a big eat gut-fill; they don't eat it during a traditional break; and they don't visualize themselves or the brand as a goofy teenager [Footnote 5]. [Crossover Note 2]

Although the bar is seen as satisfying, it isn’t fulfilling a hunger craving. It’s lighter than the “big eat” competition. What the bar offers is a big hit of chocolate – yes, apparently even men get chocolate cravings. Thick, creamy Kit Kat chocolate cravings with a crunch. A perfect combination of wafer and chocolate. But we’d been talking about the “big eat” instead of the “big hit” of chocolate.

Secondly, these men don’t stop to take a break because they’re always on-the-go. They take pride in their busy lives. They live hard and play hard and are always trying to get the most out of life. They focus on what they want now. Kit Kat Chunky fits their lifestyle perfectly – it’s a clean eat they can eat with one hand with no fuss, mess or need to stop whatever they’re doing. It turned out that depicting a traditional “stop to sit” type of break to build on the equity of the Kit Kat parent brand just didn’t resonate with the Kit Kat Chunky target.

Lastly, the qualitative group saw Kit Kat Chunky as “cool, stylish, muscular bad ass exterior, who reveals himself to be laid back, easy going and light hearted (playful).” And they didn’t like the previous advertising. It seemed they projected their ideal self onto the brand and depictions of immature guys taking a break wasn’t funny – it was offensive.

b) Communication Strategy
The brand needed to become a guy's guy around a new ownable brand idea. It would be the bar that satisfied man-sized cravings for big hits of chocolate. This would increase relevance with 18-24 males, and increase consumption with light and lapsed users while not alienating loyal users.

Footnote 5: Fresh Squeezed Ideas. "Kit Kat Chunky Consumer Insight Qualitative Research Report". March 31, 2009.

a) Media Used
:30 Second Television

b) Creative Discussion
:30 second TV was developed around the big hit of chocolate that satisfied a man-sized craving. And who better to champion the big hit than a big hit expert: a personable crash test dummy. The dummy embodied the characteristics the target took pride in – being fun-loving, outgoing and up for anything.

The dummy has become an icon for the brand, extending into 2011 on Kit Kat's Facebook page, a :15 second cut-down on TV and online pre-roll, and in an experiential execution, appearing on a "big hit" boxing machine at the UFC Fan Expo in Toronto where attendants could test their big hit score.

c) Media Discussion
The spot aired during The 2010 NHL Season Games, NBA Playoffs and the World Cup. Through a sponsorship with Sportsnet Canada, Kit Kat Chunky brought "Big Hits of the Game" and "Big Hits of the Night" to the target during Hockey Central.

a) Sales/Share Results
From being the #18 Single Bar January 16, 2010, Kit Kat Chunky jumped to #14 by January 15, 2011. Not only did this exceed business objectives but the climb continues – at the time of this submission, Kit Kat Chunky is #12.

The 52 weeks through January 15, 2011 saw +22% dollar volume growth (category growth +9%). Share of Singles responded in parallel (going from 1.7 to 2.0) and at the time of this submission, dollar volume continues to grow at +29%.

Significantly also, Kit Kat Chunky did not cannibalize the 4-finger SKU (which grew +14%) and Chunky has been relisted at WALMART.

b) Consumption/ Usage Results

c) Other Pertinent Results

d) Return on Investment

Footnote 6: AC Nielsen data.

a) General Discussion
In-Market Testing scored a Copy Effectiveness Index (CEI) score of 166 (vs. 70-130 norm); Persuasion Index of 175 (vs. 100 norm); Purchase Intent significantly increased at +17% and achieved a strong increase in Purchase Frequency at +5% [Footnote 7].

Among males 18-34 the highest level of repurchase was attained during Q2 2010 (significantly higher than its average of about 10%), when the television advertising broke on air. Consideration during this period was at 72% [Footnote 8].

There was no other support for Kit Kat Chunky during the time of the television flight (May 17, 2010 to August 8, 2010 with Sportsnet sponsorship September 13, 2010 to December 12, 2010), nor the business period (January 16, 2010 to January 15, 2011).

b) Excluding Other Factors
Spending Levels: Spending levels were consistent with previous years when TV had been produced and aired. (Kit Kat Chunky had not been supported after 2005 until 2009.)

Pricing: There was nothing unusual regarding pricing at the time. Kit Kat Chunky was not on deal outside of the norm [Footnote 9].

Distribution Changes: In terms of distribution, over the period it increased +8 points from 76 to 84 [Footnote 10].

Unusual Promotional Activity: Each year since 2008, the Kit Kat parent brand runs a cash-based promotion - 'Kit Kash' in 2008 and 2009 with a chance to win $1,000,000 and 'Win Your Big Break' in 2010 with 4 chances to win $250,000. The promotion period has been consistently May - September. Nielsen has advised that this lift in growth is baked into Kit Kat baseline sales and thus is not unusual [Footnote 11]. The promotion includes all Kit Kat SKUs.

Other Potential Causes: In 2009, the Nestlé confectionery brands communicated the change to All Natural Flavours with the Real Simple campaign. Kit Kat was included in this range. 'Creamier chocolate' was also communicated on pack this year.

Footnote 7: IPSOS Brand Health Tracking.
Footnote 8: IPSOS, "Kit Kat Chunky Dummy Ad Report". September 3, 2010.
Footnotes 9 , 10, 11: AC Nielsen data.