Brand Building that Drove KitKat to its Highest Market Share

Nestlé KitKat

Principles in Practice

Background on Global Campaign:

KitKat needed a refresh of it’s global campaign. The UAE was 1 of 4 markets that developed and workshopped ideas. After multiple workshops, the concept of Celebrate the Breakers was created.

For the following 4 months, I was part of a team of 5 people from the UAE who participated in global workshops in the UAE, Poland and the UK to refine the campaign that would ultimately become Celebrate the Breakers’ Breaks (CtBB).



The chocolate landscape in the Middle East is highly cluttered with strong global players. It is highly competitive and fragmented.

The Category and its Communication by default allude to ‘break’ with many brands scoring high on the ‘perfect for a break’ attribute. This makes it all the more critical for Kit Kat to create a compelling emotional brand story around a ‘break’, staying differentiated and owning it.

KitKat’s main competitors Galaxy, Snickers, Twix, Mars, and M&M continuously outspend in media and trade.

We needed to re-establish KitKat’s dominance in the break and increase market share.



The human truth that we tapped into – What is unique about the audience in the GCC is the rise of individualism in a Collective society. A socially controlled culture leaves young adults in the region yearning for individual expression. Especially Saudis who want to ‘fit in’ due to social/cultural norms, but yet they want to be an individual in their own right. Nothing could be more befitting – no two individuals are the same, so why should their breaks be?

Communication Insight – A topic is more likely to trend (break into culture) if it is unbranded. We capitalized on this insight in social media and content. Communication is more likely to resonate with consumers when it is told by people they know or admire vs. a brand (power of WOM).



‘Celebrate the Breaker’s Breaks’ The idea celebrated the different kind of individuals with their own personalities, who enjoy their own kind of breaks. There are no limits and Kit Kat loves all of them.

The campaign created a connected conversation between Kit Kat and the `breakers` by celebrating the unlimited types of breakers. Using humor to dramatize the different personalities, every experience of the campaign was intended to bring a smile to one’s break. Every interaction with Kit Kat was an occasion to celebrate the ‘breaker’ in everyone. Seamless integration of mediums – TV and Radio for Reach; Digital for Engagement; Point-of-Sale: Reminder and Convert to sales. We gave our audience an experience of the idea via a fully integrated, but phased approach:

Phase 1

The Communication Strategy was to introduce the term ‘Breaker’ without any brand association, get celebrities, influencers and everyday people to speak on our behalf and then we claim ownership. Since we learnt that a topic is more likely to trend if it is unbranded, we started with unique unbranded media placements to sneak the term into the conversation, a challenging one since there is no ‘breaker’ term in the Arabic language.

    • TV: 15 sec unbranded teasers
    • Online: unbranded microsite.
    • Content: To fuel the conversation we made use of Sa7i in Saudi Arabia. Announcing the platform to their 2 million online subscribers. Consumers were guessing what the word “breaker” meant, until we made it clear. People began using the hash tag to come up with creative definitions for the term “breaker”.
    • Social: On Instagram, there were thousands of comments before Kit Kat even had a page!
    • Stunt: We also got the ‘breaker’ term on the airwaves with one of the UAE’s top radio shows, the Kris Fade Show on Virgin Radio Dubai, to later on reveal a competition to win a trip and be part of the #Breaker crew with Kris Fade. The first 30 breakers who reached the radio station headquarters would win a trip to a mystery location with the Virgin Radio team, bringing along the favorite prop they like to break with to enjoy their favorite break, based on their “breaker” type during the trip.
Phase 2

The KitKat Branded Phase included a 60 second Manifesto TVC, in store POS, digital engagement that identified different breaker types in social media, influencers and bloggers sparking conversations.

    • Content: We pushed content from the Maldives breaker trip with Kris Fade on YouTube
    • TV: We used TV to build high reach and guide people to different digital platforms to share/recognize/celebrate their type of breaks.
    • Social: the hash tags took a life of their own, especially in Arabic!
    • Influencers: To bring the conversation to Facebook and Twitter we gathered the top 16 influencers in the region to use their personal channels to spread the message of the campaign and how they could entice their followers to create user generated content showing their different breaker types.
    • Radio & TV: There were special radio spots with specific breaker types and having breaker mentions on Lebanon’s Dancing with the Stars.
    • Celebrities: Scarlet Johansson and Blake Lively even joined in on the breaker conversation discussing their breaker types on ‘The Scoop With Raya’ show.
  1. Result:

    • Market Share – Kit Kat achieved its highest ever-recorded market share in both KSA and UAE as it increased by 100 bps.
      • KSA Jan 2015 = 16.8% vs. June 2015 = 18.3
      • UAE Jan 2015 = 23.6% vs. June 2015 = 26.9
    • Household penetration in KSA increased by 2.9%, Dec 2014= 58.9% vs. July 2015= 61.8%
    • Brand Health Tracker – ‘Perfect for my break’ attribute increased by +100 BPS
      • KSA H2 2014= 34% vs. H1 2015 = 36%
      • UAE H2 2014= 44% vs. H1 2015= 45%
    • First brand hashtag to trend organically in the region. #Breaker (in Arabic) reached top trending hashtags on twitter in KSA during the unbranded phase, which fueled engagement and shareability to reach 4 million people when the TVC was released online.
    • Many celebrities and other brands participated in Twitter conversations such as Hyundai UAE, Burger King UAE, Campaign Live US, Sony Middle East, Nescafe Arabia, Catboy 92 (Dubai 92 RJ), Campaign Middle East.
    • Facebook engagement was 900,000+, with a reach of over 23 million fans.
    • On YouTube the video was shared over 4,500 times which is more than any direct competition in chocolates category, and 10-30x the number of shares of other major FMCG brands with campaigns during the same time.


Principles in Practice


His in-depth understanding of the media industry and his top notch experience has added significant value in driving brand's equity and helped achieve outstanding results.
Under his leadership, the high level of motivation and dedication that his team has shown is a clear example of how good a leader he is.
alaa hussein kitkat senior brand manager
Alaa Hussein
Nestlé KitKat | Senior Brand Manager


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