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KitKat launches a new ad of… nothing?

Advertisement is all about brand awareness, and KitKat has started running an ad for television of literally nothing. Did the risk pay off?

kit kat commercial

kit kat commercial

The power of nothingness and chocolate

Did you ever see the movie Her with Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlet Johansson? There was a love scene – for mature audiences only, of course – where we saw only a blank screen for several minutes. The only thing we as the audience received was the audio. The sounds. The words. Her soft breath. Taking away the visuals for just a couple of moments in that film left the audio to do the heavy lifting in the minds of the audience.

And I think it definitely worked. Each movie goer was able to create their own vivid imaginations of what was happening. Until the actors came back on screen, at least.


Literally, nothing

Kit Kat has now tried the same thing in a 30-second ad. They’ve removed the visuals. There is nothing for our eyes to devour. There’s no color, no dripping chocolate, no cookie crumbs. There is only an announcer’s voice. And that voice is pointing out exactly what the commercial is missing: “No people dancing around the supermarket in silly Santa hats… No celebrities selling frozen turkeys.”

Instead, the ad – at least as I interpret it – is telling us to take a break from the noise, the shopping, the craziness of the holidays. “A Kit Kat break” to be exact. Not exactly what I think of when I need to get to a calm place, but I see what they’re going for here.

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Is it effective?

For businesses large and small, advertising raises awareness, and awareness is a good thing for companies. Awareness increases reach, drive sales and forms perception. We all know what a Kit Kat is. I, for one, have eaten way too many in my lifetime. That leads me to believe that reach wasn’t their ultimate goal with this commercial. And I don’t think this particular ad full of nothingness is going to drive sales.

So perhaps Kit Kat wanted to change our perception of them just a bit. Maybe they’re not just selling chocolate and calories. Maybe they do have our best in mind when they encourage us to take a break from the loud in-laws. Maybe they really do care. Just maybe…

What do you think: Is nothingness effective in advertising, or do you want all your senses stimulated at once for an ad to truly be effective?


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Written By

A native Texan, Summer Huggins serves as Account Manager | Client Support for Small World Labs, a Personify company. She is also an animal advocate, active in Austin's animal rescue community, and an amateur photographer. She wants to be a Rockette when she grows up.

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