Kit Kat to reduce TV spend, invest in innovation

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 18 December 2015

Kit Kat is preparing to drop its TV spend by 10% taking it to below 50% of its marketing spend, with the Nestle brand instead opting to spend more of its budget on digital, experiential and innovation.

Nestle head of marketing, Chris O'Donnell, said that as a result of the success of its experiential Kit Kat Studio offering, the brand is looking to engage with its customers in different ways.

Previously O'Donnell had told AdNews the brand spends approximately 55% of its marketing budget on TV, however he has said that now he's considering dropping that by 10%.

Kit Kat is currently running a retail store in Melbourne, created by IPG's Ensemble, where people can create their own Kit Kat by selecting the main ingredients. It's then made by hand in front of them or they can buy special editions that are updated week to week.

The brand also invested in an e-commerce click and collect functionality and will be offering deliveries for one week within the Melbourne CBD.

Just a few weeks since it opened its doors, the store is selling approximately 1000 premium Kit Kats in-store every week.

“We've been able to leverage and utilise this concept and explode it out through our marketing plan,” he said.

“Paid media is becoming really difficult to access consumers at scale, it's in an environment where it's very easy to switch off. When it's coming from your network, your own friends and something that’s truly personalised and customised, the level of cut-through is a totally different ball game.

“What we'd discussed last time was around trying to increase the level of investment primarily behind digital and experiential, this gives us a huge amount of confidence that we can continue with this kind of execution.”

This exercise has also caused O'Donnell to look at how the brand structures its marketing team, with the brand investing heavily in dedicated innovation managers and it's already delivering dividends.

“We've made choices already around how we structure the team, and certainly around Kit Kat we've increased the level of resources," he explained.

"We've added innovation managers into the brand so we have dedicated people delivering innovations, and we've made the choice to increase the level of investment behind the brand.”

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