CHALLENGE KIT KAT had lost some of its luster. Sales had taken a hit, and the brand was reluctant to keep investing in high-cost mediums. To turn things around, Hershey paired its KIT KAT bar with a cup of hot coffee and created a brand-new usage occasion. CRN was asked to introduce KIT KAT and Coffee to consumers and get them to enjoy a KIT KAT bar whenever they take a coffee break.

INSIGHT CRN has experience in developing the types of radio campaigns that could deliver and also be cost-effective. We also recognized that KIT KAT and coffee are both grab-and-go items and that radio offered the best opportunities for reaching people while they’re in the car and on the go. Coffee is a high mark-up item, so offering an incentive that convenience stores would also get excited about persuaded them to provide space for KIT KAT displays right next to the coffee station.

SOLUTION We developed a promotional radio plan to drive sales and merchandising with more than 20 retail partners in the c-store class of trade in 61 national and regionally strategic markets. Our plan placed brand messages, which included a call to action, directly into station program segments, with radio personalities taking KIT KAT and Coffee breaks on air, contests and sweepstakes, segment sponsorships and daily messages reminding listeners to take a break. C-stores were included in all messaging in exchange for incremental performance and display space. Digital radio, podcasts, and an updated version of KIT KAT’s iconic jingle were added as the plan evolved. 

RESULT Kit Kat and Coffee was a hit with consumers, and CRN’s campaign helped the brand correct its course. During the campaign, sales lifted by 8%. After twelve months, KIT KAT experienced double-digit sales growth YOY. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, KIT KAT and Coffee Radio has helped the brand grow from $300M in sales to more than $600M. In a recent analysis of KIT KAT media, radio scored higher in effectiveness than online, social media, and mobile app advertising. CRN’s radio program is viewed as a best-in class shopper marketing program at Hershey’s.