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Case: How a viral expression can achieve 147% more brand recall for KitKat

Some time ago, Creative Strategist Sam Hennig’s KitKat creation went completely viral on social media. Even Nestlé was charmed by his creation. Sam designed an ad for KitKat in response to the question ‘create an ad for your favorite chocolate bar’. And that he hit the mark, proven by the large amount of likes and shares. A beautiful creation with a nice strategic link to the pay-off of the chocolate brand. Despite the amount of buzz surrounding the expression, we had doubts about its effect: is this creation suitable for direct and effective use? There appears to be a Media Industry Bias; people within this sector think the expression is great, but the expression lags in terms of actual effectiveness.

A passer-by only looks at an outdoor advertisement for 1 to 2 seconds on average.
An important aspect of a good creation is having a strong brand cue. Specifically with outdoor advertising – and other quickly consumed media – it is important to convey the brand immediately. After all, a passer-by will only look at the advertisement for 1 to 2 seconds on average. In our view, the creative KitKat expression lacked Distinctive Brand Assets (DBA). These DBAs are small hooks that, when activated, trigger the network around this brand in your brain. In other words: you recognize the brand and subconsciously think of it.

Have a DBA, have an effective campaign
To find out whether there is indeed a lack of DBAs, we subjected the statement to an investigation. In addition to the original advertisement, we have made a Mock-up in which we have added the brand logo, a very strong DBA.

In the study, we used EyeCoding to measure consumer viewing behavior online for these expressions. In addition, we spontaneously and assisted requested the recognition of the brand.

Bart Massa, Managing Director at Validators Insights and frequent user of Creative Testing Platform: ‘The research produces very unequivocal results. On the one hand, this shows the importance of a good Distinctiveness of an expression, adding the logo leads to a huge increase in spontaneous (33%) and assisted brand transfer (49%). On the other hand, this research shows that correct control of viewing behavior ensures that the visual (the planning) retains sufficient attention and at the same time the logo is sufficiently seen. ‘

Expression with DBA
Spontaneous brand transfer 55%
Aided brand transfer 82.5%

Expression without DBA
Spontaneous brand transfer 22%
Aided brand transfer 33.5%

This once again underlines the importance of using DBAs correctly in communication. Because let’s face it, wouldn’t you rather have more than 80% of passers-by know how to play back your brand, instead of a third?

In the need of knowing more? Feel free to contact Pau.