Breaking through the holiday clutter

KitKat’s Christmas Commercial Is 30 Seconds of Blankness, the Ultimate Ad Break A knowing antidote to holiday noise

It takes a lot to stand out among the glut of Christmas ads in Britain, where brands jockey like nowhere else to have a hit commercial. KitKat and J. Walter Thompson’s strategy this season is to cut through the clutter by uncluttering completely.

The Nestlé candy brand is breaking a 30-second spot on TV this weekend that features nothing but a completely blank screen—not even a logo at the end—and a voiceover that asks whether “just absolutely nothing” isn’t “nice for a change.”

Kit Kat Commercial

It’s witty and even sort of brave, though also, of course, a bit disingenuous. The ad isn’t “absolutely nothing.” It’s a meta exercise designed to command as much attention, if not more, than traditional spots. And the voiceover—smug, self-satisfied, more than a little judgmental, even humbug-ish—might be more irritating to some than watching a beautifully made, if less authentic ad.

Still, it fit does the long-running brand promise, “Have a break. Have a Kit Kat,” pretty perfectly. And that makes it more palatable as a stunt.

Why it’s hot: In this content cluttered world, its hard to stand out. This commercial shows how sometimes the best way to stand out is to take a step back and just say nothing. Interesting approach, curious to see how it performs!