KitKat’s Moment Marketing



KitKat is a light wafer chocolate filled biscuit that is irresistably delicious.                         (Photo:

Nestlé is a “leading Nutrition, Health, and Wellness company” (Nestlé 2016). Founded by Henri Nestlé in 1866, Nestlé was first called Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company. In 1867, Henri developed its breakthrough infant food until in 1905, the company finally became Nestlé Group (Nestlé 2016).

Today, celebrating its 150 years in the business, Nestlé is listed as the 49th most valuable brands in the world (Forbes 2016). In addition, its more than 2,000 brands “help people live more enjoyable, healthier lives” (Nestlé 2016). Among these brands are Maggi, Gerber, Milo, Nescafé, Coffee Mate, Nespresso, Nestlé Ice Cream, Nido, Dreyer’s, Carnation, and KitKat.

Named by Time magazine as the most influential candy bar of all time, KitKat has conquered eight decades of being in a close competing environment and changing consumer mindsets. So how did Nestlé successfully put KitKat on top of the chocolate market? Its secret is the ‘moment marketing.’

In our fast-paced world, people become bored of a banner ad or even 30-second commercial videos. Thus, companies have been marketing the ‘moments’ that may be a 10-second Snapchat video or Twitter’s real-time news (Hof 2016).

Kitkat understands that a strong digital presence is needed, such as when people take a break (KitKat’s tagline), they are likely to get online. In 2012 when a skydiver signed up for a record-breaking dive but was postponed several times, KitKat humoured the event by making a Facebook post. The instant success of the post online was just the start of the many moment marketing of KitKat (Nestlé 2016).


However, in 2014, Nestlé announced declining sales in the sweet biscuits category. So in 2015, KitKat spent £10 M for its “Celebrate the Breakers” multimedia campaign to boost sales (Millington 2015). But did this really boost the sales for KitKat?


According to Amber & Roberts 2008, there is an argument that says that marketing’s ultimate purpose is to improve shareholder value and that marketing performance can be measured by a financial marketing metric, particularly “silver metric.” However, another argument says that financial metric is not enough. In addition, according to Mintz & Currim (2013), managers use different marketing and financial metrics tin deciding a products marketing mix.

An international internet-based market research firm, YouGov, conducted a research to show the effects of KitKat brand’s campaign across positivity of the campaign (Buzz Score), ad awareness, current customer rate.

Respondents have reacted positively and reached its peak by mid-March, the time after the campaign was launched. Respondents also admitted that they have seen or heard the brand’s advertisement since its launch. The ad awareness scored a peak of 7.9%, which indicates that the money spent on the marketing campaign. Lastly, the brand’s customer base increased and reached a peak of 17.1%. This means that a respondent has purchased the brand in the last 30 days, suggesting that the new campaign affected the sales positively (Adediran 2015). All three data is shown below.

Though KitKat’s marketing advertisement somehow helped the sales in 2015, Nestlé’s overall net profit is still lower than the previous year (Atkins 2016).

In measuring marketing performance of a brand, it is better to use marketing and financial metrics as this leads to better marketing mix performance. Moreover, knowing the firm’s strategy and the type of marketing mix activities greatly affect the use of marketing and financial metrics (Mintz & Currim 2013).

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Adediran, M 2015, Consumers take a break with KitKat, YouGov, retrieved 10 May 2016, <;.

Ambler, T, Roberts, JH (2008), Assessing marketing performance: Don’t settle for a silver metric, Journal of Marketing Management, 24 (7/8), pp. 733-750.

Atkins, R 2016, Nestlé global sales growth slows as US fails to offset decline, The Financial Times Ltd, retrieved 15 May 2016, <;.

Forbes 2016, The World’s most valuable brands, Forbes Media LLC, retrieved 20 May 2016, <;.

Hof, R 2016, Marketing in the moments, to reach customers online, New York Times, retrieved 10 May 2016, <;.

Miillington, A 2015, Kit Kat doubles media spend to reclaim lost sales, Marketing Week, retrieved 10 May 2016, <;.

Mintz, O, Currim, IS (2013), What drives managerial use of marketing and financial metrics and does metric use affect performance of marketing mix activities?, Journal of Marketing, 77 (2), pp. 17-40.

Nestlé 2016, About us, Nestlé, retrieved 18 May 2016, <;.

Nestlé 2016, Brands, Nestlé, retrieved 18 May 2016, <;.

Nestlé 2016, KitKat turns 80: How ‘moment marketing’ helped this iconic chocolate brand conquer the digital world, retrieved 10 May 2016, <;.

Nestlé 2016, The Nestlé company history, Nestlé, retrieved 18 May 2016, <;.


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