Even for best-selling brands, breaking through the clutter of the summer promotion period can leave wheels spinning. When Nestlé engaged Davis to solve for exactly this challenge, our creative team’s imagination shifted into high gear.

Beyond breaking through at shelf, the promotional idea for KitKat needed to celebrate the quintessential Canadian summer road trip experience while garnering excitement, driving sales among Gen Z consumers, and staying true to the brand.

Leveraging KitKat’s brand purpose: Put a smile in your break, our strategy leaned into the concept that breaking from reality is a great way for KitKat’s stressed consumer target to escape.

“There isn’t a more romanticized idea of getting away from it all than hitting the open road, says Davis Account Director, Sara Merrifield.  “It’s a time-honored notion that perfectly captures the freedom of summertime adventure. Except we put a decidedly fun twist on it. By highlighting lesser-known Canadian destinations and landmarks, we’re encouraging KitKat lovers to take a break in their day – and smile while doing it. Whether they’re breaking virtually to learn about each location or physically travelling to one or two of them, this promotion connects fun summer breaks to KitKat in a compelling and endearing way.”

In an intentional move to shift the focus from the usual summer hot-spots, the creative team followed only one basic rule in selecting each destination – the the more unknown, the better. Merrifield explains, “we wanted to show support and build awareness of small towns, communities, and businesses across the country, which in turn, really amps up the delight and discovery elements of the campaign.”

With style cues reminiscent of the 90s, the creative is bright and impactful with vibrant colors and poster-like effects. The visual toolkit is robust with adaptive components that flex beyond the packaging showcasing each of the six locations. For KitKat’s organic social posts, a nostalgic instant camera style was adopted to further enhance the road trip story and connect to consumers.

Working directly with each of the landmark owners and/or management, Davis secured rights and permission to use existing visual assets, with participants thrilled by the opportunity. Unexpectedly the promotion has generated a feel-good civic pride among communities and citizens, with some creating and sharing their own social content. The Mayor’s Office of Watson Lake, Yukon reported that The CBC’s National reached out recently for more information on the program.

Packaging began rolling out earlier this month and scheduled posts will be shared by KitKat’s social media team all summer long. An additional four locations highlighted exclusively for social channels have already been added to the line-up.