KitKat ad with Ayushmann Khurrana: Does it 'break' the clutter?

The ad featuring Khurrana as a professor conducting an online class is conceptualised by Wunderman Thompson, Delhi

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Published: Aug 26, 2020 8:08 AM  | 4 min read

Needless to say that among the most memorable and loved brand taglines is Nestle’s ‘Have a break, have a KitKat’ for its confectionary brand KitKat. Still rings a bell. Moreover, using smart advertising, Kit Kat taught Indian consumers a new way of eating this product. The brand used advertisements to promote a ritual for eating a Kit Kat of removing the wrapper, separating a finger bar using the finger, breaking the bar and then eating it. Surprisingly, customers not just accepted this ritual, but years after this campaign, still follow it. The iconic ad-maker is now back with its latest spot featuring actor Ayushmann Khurrana.

As we know, for many young people, the new normal today has brought with it a lot of stress and anxiety, having to adapt to many new and different ways of going about their daily activities. Building on the same, confectionary brand Kit Kat features Khurrana as a professor who is trying to engage with his students while conducting an online class.

The spot reflects over the reality of the current situation with accuracy as students and teachers around the world are taking online classes due to the pandemic-induced lockdown and closure of schools. In the ad, Khurana can be seen trying out tricks to motivate his students who are bored and exhausted of trying to learn on a virtual platform. To spark some enthusiasm and to feel refreshed, the teacher and the students take a break and feel relaxed. The campaign is conceptualised by Wunderman Thompson, Delhi.

We ask industry experts whether the ad makes the cut.

Auryndom Bose ,Group Creative Director, Dentsu One, praises certain aspects of the ad. “It’s Throwback Thursdays (or whenever this came out) and we are at last satiated by a good looking ad. Just like those pre- Covid days. Well art directed. Well cast. Well prepped. Every house and face in the frame has a unique charm. Even ‘well thought out’ as a creative idea for that matter, given so many campaigns simply seems knee jerk these days,” he remarks.

However Bose adds, “Sadly what’s also a throwback is the marketing idea. Classic situational problem brought to satisfactory ‘all-ends-well’ conclusion by introduction of the product. Product comes in and logs in its world view. Will it sell more Kitkat? Mmmmmm…Does it say something cool enough to go viral? Mmmmm….Does it expand the market or put another dimension to the product? Mmmmm……Is it relatable? 100%. So relatable that it feels like something that happened with my nephew, yesterday. And that’s exactly what makes it sort of a ‘wallpaper’. Mind you charming wallpaper that you love to look at but wallpaper nonetheless.”

Bose gives it full marks for being one of the charming ads that makes us think the good old days of advertising are still around. “What I can say is I really envy advertising that is so restful and easy in these turbulent times. They picked a Covid motif (the zoom screen) and created a pre-digital era, brand philosophy espousing, sitcom ads around it. However, maybe we should not be judgemental about ads anymore, we should more - look at the entire activation piece. Which I hope they have. In their defense, you can only do so much with candy in Covid,” he states.

According to Samit Sinha, Managing Partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting, the ad ticks off all the checkboxes that makes for good advertising. Sinha says he would give it an unequivocal thumbs up for that. “Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the creative idea is spot on as far as being faithful to Kit Kat’s brand essence, which I would express as a “welcome break from monotony.” For the brand, the word break of course has always had a double meaning because of the design of the product, as in it is easy to break into parts. Secondly, the advertisement makes execution very topically relevant because of the current paradigm forced upon the world due to the pandemic. And lastly, the advertisement is noticeable, entertaining and a contemporary take on having fun, which is a key requirement in the confectionery category,” he opines.

Meanwhile Sanjay Mehta, Joint Chief Executive Officer, Mirum India, states that one of the longest running brand lines, 'Have a break, have a KitKat', comes out superbly in this pandemic-inspired storyline. “Excellent ad. Very peppy, just the perfect tonality and spirit for the brand. Ayushman has a good presence, and the rest of the execution has also been done very well, considering the challenges of production these days,” Mehta asserts.

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