KitKat campaign starts despite war

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[London] At presstime, Nestle was to go ahead with "Britain's Biggest Break," an $8 million U.K. integrated campaign for KitKat urging the whole country to take a 15-minute break at 3 p.m. on March 21, despite concerns about appearing crass or insensitive for telling people to "Take a break. Have a Kit Kat" right after war against Iraq started. The campaign included a humorous TV commercial (See Work, above), radio, outdoor and newspaper ads, as well as special packaging tied into a cellphone text messaging contest. Nestle decided the campaign, which started Feb. 26 and built toward the designated 15-minute break on Friday, had gone so far it couldn't be halted or scaled down. "We had to be ultra-sensitive," said Liam Newton, Nestle Rowntree's head of brand marketing. The company reviewed all the creative work by KitKat agency J. Walter Thompson, part of WPP Group, and made some minor changes, like pulling a radio ad that featured a soldier. Right before the 3 p.m. break, WPP's MindShare negotiated the simultaneous airing of the spot on all U.K. commercial and satellite channels, even though some of the channels had to change their usual station breaks.
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