Kit Kat's Golden Tickets Lead to 'Big Brother'

Willy Wonka-Style Competition Promotes TV Show, Candy Bar

Published on .

Brand: Kit Kat
Brand Owner: Nestle/Channel 4
Category: Confectionery/snacks
Region: U.K.
Date: May-June 2006
Media Agency: MindShare
Other Agencies: C4 Creative Services, Endemol
Media Channels: TV, print, outdoor

Time and again we return to TV show "Big Brother" as an innovative forum for commercial messages on TV. Whatever the market and whatever the product, "Big Brother" has found a way to promote it.
'Big Brother' picked one of its contestants from those who had gotten the 100 Golden Tickets.
'Big Brother' picked one of its contestants from those who had gotten the 100 Golden Tickets.

In this case, it's the U.K. version of the show, and the brands are the show itself and Nestle's chocolate snack. The aim for Channel 4 was to get contestants for its reality TV show, while Kit Kat wanted to drive sales and raise awareness. The two chose as their medium 100 golden tickets.

The brands created a Willy Wonka-style competition, with the tickets hidden within Kit Kat four-finger bars and Kit Kat Chunky bars across the country.

Anyone who picked up a golden ticket would be eligible to win a place in the "Big Brother" house. One of the ticket holders would be chosen at random to join the television experience.

The strategy was promoted on Channel 4 and E4 as well as in print ads, outdoor and via on-pack messaging as part of a co-funded ad campaign; Kit Kat got valuable airtime on C4, while "Big Brother" got promotion in 40,000 retail outlets.

This is a great example of cooperation between two non-competing brands for mutual benefit. The "Big Brother" house attracted even more PR around the competition, while the association helped Kit Kat stand out among a key younger demographic.

The promotion was conceived by Channel 4 and turned into a reality through the partnership with Kit Kat in just 10 weeks. Perhaps the only element of the promotion that could have been better handled was negative publicity surrounding claims that the final draw was rigged.

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared's Creative Media Database.
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