Advertising in the time of COVID-19: Why marketers find this Kit Kat poster so “amusing”

Kit Kat

Source: Facebook.

A Kit Kat poster has marketers amused as they laud its innovative design for tapping into everyday experiences of living in a global pandemic.

The Kit Kat chocolate bar, which is owned by Swiss food and drink corporation Nestle, is featured on a bus stop poster in the United Kingdom and the image draws on the popular slogan “have a break, have a Kit Kat”.

The speculative advertisement was designed by brand strategist Sam Hennig for the Manchester-based organisation One Minute Briefs and was not commissioned by Kit Kat.

Rather than spelling out Kit Kat’s slogan, Hennig has displayed an image of a calendar that is full of back-to-back Zoom meetings, except for 3pm, where two pieces of the breakable chocolate bar are displayed.

Dan Basset, head of marketing at IMP Software, described the poster as “genius” on LinkedIn.

“Leaning right into the zoom work culture, execution is on point,” he wrote.

“Getting cut through”

Gary Mortimer, a marketing professor at the Queensland University of Technology, tells SmartCompany the poster is “amusing, topical and resonates well with consumers”.

Mortimer says it also overcomes the difficulty advertisers have standing out in a highly competitive market.

“One of the challenges that advertisers have is getting cut through in a very crowded market,” he says.

“So, some of the best ads tend to be ones that are very topical and relate to our everyday lives.”

Hennig’s Kit Kat poster is not the first advertisement to successfully tap into popular sentiments of living during a global pandemic.

In March last year, Dublin creative Luke O’Reilly designed a Guinness poster for One Minute Briefs’ ‘Staying Inn’ speculative ad competition that featured a small logo, a lounge and the text “Stay At Home”.

Speculative advertisements allow marketing professionals to boost their industry exposure by designing innovative ads for large companies despite there being no guaranteed payment.

For Adrian Falk, founder and director at Believe Advertising and PR, Hennig’s poster is effective because it is “subtle” and invites consumers to think.

“It’s subtle, it’s relatable, and it’s a bit tongue in cheek,” Falk tells SmartCompany.

Falk says marketers often feel compelled to put a brand’s logo, website and social media handles all over their advertising, but this ad succeeds in avoiding that trap.

“It makes the consumer question and that’s intriguing. Rather than just giving them everything, it’s making them think.”

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