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How KitKat Launched with Kisses in Iraq


The team at Publicis Dubai share how they created a spot to engage the local Arab markets in Iraq, Morocco the UAE and Egypt, writes LBB’s Nisna Mahtani

How KitKat Launched with Kisses in Iraq

In the Arab world, ‘hellos’ and ‘goodbyes’ are a much longer process than you might expect. The culture requires you to offer a greeting to every person in the room, often lots of aunts and uncles, giving them all an acknowledgement and often a hug or a kiss. Playing on this idea, KitKat launched in Iraq, Morocco, the UAE and Egypt with the concept of ‘endless salutations’.

Keeping on theme with the brand’s reputation for providing a much-needed break, and incorporating humour, the chocolate-covered wafer bar comes as a welcome distraction in the scenario at hand. As Saraah walks into her living room, she’s greeted by what seems like an endless line of aunts, all waiting patiently to give her a big kiss on the cheek. As she stands there, more and more dishevelled by lipstick kisses on her cheeks, by the time it’s over, it’s most certainly time for a KitKat! 

Speaking to LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about creating the spot are Publicis Middle East, Dubai’s senior copywriter Hani Mohsen, senior art director Youssef El Naggar (Joe) and art director Raed Fawzy.

LBB> Endless kisses, lipstick and Kit Kats. What was the starting point for this spot? 

Hani> We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to communicate in Iraq for the first time and wanted to be truly insightful.

Joe> One of the insights that first came into our mind in our brainstorming was how we as Arabs spend endless time in salutations.

Raef> The funny thing is that whenever your mother is having your aunts at home, she always wants to show off with her children; what they’ve been up to, how successful they are, etc. So, you feel like you fell in a loop of salutations, and you never know when it’s going to end. 

LBB> Can you talk us through some of the initial conversations you had with the client and what they wanted to achieve? 

Hani> It was a smooth selling process really, clients loved and appreciated the idea from the first meeting, they were looking for locally relevant humorous copies and the moment we heard their laughter in the meeting when we were telling them the story, we knew they related

LBB> For those who don’t know, can you give us some context on Aunty’s kisses and their cultural significance? 

Hani> It’s an Arab thing: whenever we get into a family there’s always the aunts and uncles and the extended family who’re always very welcoming and always want to show their love by kissing your cheeks when they salute you, and two kisses on the cheek are never enough.

Joe> It’s true, our families in the Arab world are really extended to a point where you don’t know them, despite how they know you, that’s when you know you need a break.

LBB> How did you create a bright, vibrant spot with your choice of set, decor, and styling? 

Joe> Our director Omar Shawky and the production team from GoodPeople did a great job on the choice of the set.

Raef> Our initial idea was to make the sets as locally relevant as possible, and they delivered perfectly on that front.

LBB> Where will the campaign be running and how did you adapt it for different platforms? 

Hani> The campaign is already running on TV in Iraq, it will soon be adapted in Morocco as well as the UAE and Egypt.

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Publicis Dubai, Thu, 25 May 2023 15:04:00 GMT