For a public relations case study example I chose the Choose a Chunky Champion campaign by KitKat. The brand KitKat are a chocolate bar brand owned by Nestle, which began production in 1935 and are still producing their chocolate goodness to this day.
The campaign started in 2012, and was redone again in 2013 due to it’s success. The campaign was a sales promotion where KitKat released 4 limited edition flavoured chunky KitKats. The flavours were white chocolate, orange, peanut butter, and double chocolate. They produced them and they were sold worldwide, and the idea of the campaign was that the public had to vote for which flavour they wanted to be kept on the shelf. The other three would be eliminated, so it invited the public to be active in the campaign and go out and choose what flavour they wanted to be saved. They did this because it increases awareness of their brand and interactivity. The two way method of this campaign which involves both the audience and the brand makes it successful as the requirement of engagement makes the audience think about the brand which creates a huge amount of sales promotion.
Their idea was based on the idea of survival from elimination, with a superhero kind of approach. Each flavour was represented as and by a superhero, and the whole idea theme revolved around the idea that only one flavour could survive the shelf. It is a common theme throughout media so they made it their own by presenting the competition as though is was a contest amongst the flavours. In addition to this, this theme fits in with their target audience of 18-30 year olds, who are mainly men. It fits in with this demographic as stereo -typically this is the kind of audience who would find a superhero theme appealing.
Kitkat were trying to give their sales a big boost with their highly invested in campaign, and also awareness. Creating new flavours inspires curiousness so the public will go out and buy their product to try it and gain their own opinion. This boosts their sales because everyone went out and bought them as well as the regular KitKat. The aim was also to create awareness, which it did as it brought the public attention to their brand through the competitive element. In addition to this, the aim was help product development. If they had each flavour that was up for voting already in development but the company couldn’t decide on which one to keep, this sales promotion strategy was perfect as it not only helped them in deciding on a flavour, but brought large recognition to the brand.
The overall strategy involved three out of the four elements in a promotional mix: Advertising, public relations and sales promotion. The brand is advertising as they placed adverts everywhere, on billboards, social media, television and radio, which increased awareness for the brand and their campaign. The public relations was the interactivity between the brand and the public which increased engagement with the brand which would increase their reputation and build profit. Lastly, they used sales promotion through the marketing activities they used. This activity was the chunky champion scheme which gave incentive to the consumer to buy more of their product, which increased sales, and also helped develop their range further. The field of public relations and marketing this event was in is the food and beverage field.
The approach taken was highly effective and saw sales and reputation shoot up massively, both in the first campaign in 2012 and also again in 2013. The element of engagement and competition was effective as it meant that the public actually had to consider their own opinions on the new releases and decide which was their favourite, which means an increase in sales to see which was their favourite. In addition to this, this campaign was effective as it caught the eye of the public more than a regular advert most would walk by and feel indifferent towards. The campaign worked in 2012. Sales hiked by 12.7% and the bars were fast selling. An average of 11 million KitKat bars were sold during this campaign in 2012, and over 60,000 votes were cast on Facebook. When placed near a convenience store, on average sales for the product increased by 25%. The brand itself claimed that it was the “biggest confectionery singles event ever for Nestlé UK & Ireland”, proving further the high effectiveness of the first campaign.
If they were to redo their campaign, there could be several things they could do differently to gain improvement and profit. One of them is, make all the flavours equally interesting. For the first campaign, the choices were white chocolate, orange, peanut butter and double chocolate. Double chocolate could be considered a boring, last minute flavour so if it were something more interesting the campaign may have been slightly more exciting and suspenseful. In addition to this, they could have added more options which would increase profit. They also could have emphasised the superhero theme by going out with mascots in the street to increase profit and awareness for the campaign.