How Kit-Kat made chocolate part of Ramadan
KitKat set out to create a chocolate to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan and went on to win the Inclusivity & Diversity trophy at The Drum Awards for Social Purpose. Here is the award-winning case study.
Example of the campaign work
KitKat has long been synonymous with the “break” and its various meanings and interpretations within culture. From the water-cooler break at the office, to the serendipitously unplanned break, to mental breaks. It’s a brand famous for glorifying however you like to break.
But one break that hasn’t been celebrated enough by brands is the break that happens every evening during the holy month of Ramadan: breaking your fast. There are almost 2 billion Muslims in the world, yet brands tend to ignore the most important holiday celebrated by this community. The month of Ramadan is a time of spiritual discipline, charity, generosity, and reflection. But it’s also a time of celebration and joy. The meal that happens at sundown every day of the month is called Iftar. It’s a time to gather with loved ones, crowd around the table for big meals, and exchange gifts.
The ambition was to break through the clutter in the category by rejecting occasions that every chocolate brand tries to insert themselves in, and instead bring representation and inclusion to one that’s often overlooked.
Canada is home to diasporas of culture and religion, and yet national holidays and celebrations remain entirely denominational of the Christian faith. There are almost 2 million Muslims residing in Canada who, year after year, are ignored by big brands who concentrate ideas, product design, and marketing spend on holidays like Christmas and Easter.
So to honor the important holiday of Ramadan in Canada, we created the KitKat Iftar Bar. It was inspired by the cultural insight that chocolate is a marker for celebration and while brands rally around holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween others are often disregarded. As a beloved and iconic brand, KitKat had the power to bring cultural awareness to this important holiday.
Unlike the regular four-piece KitKat, the Iftar Bar is 30 pieces long, designed to be enjoyed piece-by-piece each evening during Iftar. The Iftar Bar is divided into three parts, paralleling the three stages of Ramadan called Ashras (ten in Arabic). The packaging features a tile pattern inspired by the iconic geometric patterns found commonly in Islamic architecture. A calendar detail is included under the physical bar to keep track of how far along people are in their fast with each day revealed one-by-one as each piece is broken off. The Iftar Bar also features iconography of the 30 phases of the moon inspired by the Islamic lunar calendar, showcased on the packaging sleeve as cutout moon phases that animate when the inner box is pulled out.
As a brand that has stood for the break, KitKat had the power to bring awareness to this holiday - one where a break has extreme significance. The campaign was designed to speak to Muslim communities in Canada who participate in and celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, but also to start a wider conversation and awareness about the traditions and meaning of the holiday.
Community involvement was an integral part of creating and launching the Iftar Bar. KitKat worked closely with agency partners and staff who are members of the Muslim community to bring the Iftar Bar to life. Then, to get the Iftar Bars into the hands of those from the Muslim community, KitKat partnered with content creators to host giveaways to their communities on Instagram.
Despite no paid media or press release, the KitKat Iftar Bar went viral, with over 2 million impressions after only seven days and generated overwhelmingly positive responses. Muslims celebrating Ramadan all over the world were sharing their Ramadan traditions with KitKat, with influencers on social media, and engaging in conversation about what the holy month of Ramadan meant to them.