Nestlé is giving its global Kit Kat slogan “Have a break, have a Kit Kat” a break of its own in a campaign that may resonate with anyone who feels like taking a break during this tumultuous year.
The chocolate and wafer brand turns 85 this year. Since 1957, Kit Kat (which Nestlé prefers to write as KITKAT in a single word, all-caps style) has used the “have a break, have a Kit Kat” slogan, created by agency J. Walter Thompson London.
If that slogan doesn’t sound familiar, it might be because in the U.S., Hershey Co. markets Kit Kat under a license from Nestlé, and has long used the jingle “Gimme a break, Gimme a break, Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar.”
Now, in the #ABreakForHaveABreak campaign from J. Walter Thompson’s successor agency Wunderman Thompson, Kit Kat fans will have 10 days to come up with a temporary alternative line that has a similar sound.
Jeremy Bullmore, who joined J. Walter Thompson London in 1954 and rose through the ranks, later becoming the agency’s chairman, will pick the best temporary slogan. As the slogan gets its own chance to recharge, the fan who submits the winning line will get an 85-hour break, in the form of a luxury hotel stay for two people. (While the campaign won’t be promoted in the U.S., people can enter from the country.)
From Oct. 16 to 26, Kit Kat will promote the effort on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There's also an online slogan generator to encourage participation.
The Kit Kat campaign is the latest example of a candy marketer looking for a unique way to remind people to buy their products as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Nestlé’s confectionery business, which includes Kit Kat, posted a sales decline in the first half of 2020. Hershey’s first-half sales also declined. The main culprit across the industry is the reduction in impulse candy purchases such as picking up a Kit Kat at a grocery store, movie theater or airport shop, as people spend less time away from their homes.
Marketing efforts suggest there’s still plenty of interest in candy. In September, Hershey launched a Kit Kat Flavor Club in the U.S., which sends new Kit Kat varieties and branded merchandise a few times a year. Hershey offered spots for 200 people to join the club, and received more than 65,000 entries.