Opinion: Newland on ... Kit Kat

I first saw the new Kit Kat ad in the gym. Although I was tuned in to another TV set, the bright whiteness and inexplicable action in the Kit Kat spot intrigued me - even without the sound.

Now that's what's called getting off to a good start; even without audio, the ad got my attention from across a crowded gym. When I next saw it, from the quiet comfort of my sofa, I realised that it certainly comes from the attention-grabbing school of advertising.

It opens on a certifiable-looking bloke banging things around in a kitchenette and shouting. A second, equally noisy, man offers him a Kit Kat. They are joined by a stern woman, who begins bellowing as soon as she closes the door behind her.

Strong direction carries you through to the next scene, where it is revealed that the three are librarians revelling in their permission to make noise during a break.

It all ends neatly with the brand's new strapline: "Make the most of your break."

It's a campaign that has had a lot of attention already, not least because Nestle's outspoken managing director, Chris White, was so negative about its predecessor.

The new work helps you to understand why he detested the Jason Statham work. While a moody Statham opined on spawning salmon, this campaign simply screams "eat Kit Kats".

White believes in product-led advertising rather than branding. The outspoken nature of his comments are reflected in the directness of the new work.

It's an extremely blunt message, but it just about gets away with it because the spot is quite entertaining.

Although the ad is a charm-free zone, J. Walter Thompson has done a good job balancing White's no-frills requirements with credible creative work.

The ad will have to work hard to keep up with Kit Kat's PR machine. After his initial blunderbuss comments that landed him on the News at Ten soon after his arrival, White turned to Freud.

The ditching of the decades-old "have a break have a Kit Kat" line was enough to provoke many hundreds of column inches and, no doubt, a renewed interest from the British public in the Kit Kat brand.

However, it wasn't the wisest of moves. The logic will have been that people no longer need to be encouraged to eat snacks, instead they need to be encouraged to eat a Kit Kat when they are snacking.

This thinking has caused Nestle to make a big promise, however. It is saying that Kit Kats will make your break better than any other snack; it's putting itself up against fruit, crisps and toast. While the old line delivered on its promise - a Kit Kat makes a nice break - the new line can't.

Nostalgia, however, is my principal motive for preferring the old line - which, in the world of marketing, might not be the best justification. I can't help but think that in its desire to innovate at all costs (lemon cheesecake-flavoured Kit Kats, for example) Nestle undervalues nostalgia.

Its decision to ditch the inner foil wrapper a few years ago (except on the multipacks featured in the ad) may have saved money, but it wiped out an enjoyable ritual associated with savouring a Kit Kat: dragging a nail along the crease in the foil before eating a Kit Kat was an experience that set it apart from its rivals.

The new campaign will do exactly what White wants it to. It will have an immediate, positive effect on sales. However, unlike its predecessor, it's unlikely to last 57 years.

Dead cert for a Pencil? The ad is designed to sell, sell, sell, not win,

win, win.

File under ... I for in your face.

What would the chairman's wife say? "Ooh! Have they brought back the

foil wrapping?"

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