Culture · Culture Shock · Japanese Pop Culture · Kit Kat

Kit Kat Commercials

OK, so maybe I have become slightly obsessed with Kit Kats since I started taking notice of them in Japanese culture, but I can’t help it! I just find it fascinating how different a candy bar is between two countries – especially how in Japan the candy has become a symbol for passing exams. To go along with that, I thought it might be interesting to see the different ways the Kit Kat is advertised between Japan and America. Cue some quick searching on Youtube to bring you the following videos.

Ah, doesn’t that commercial just bring back memories? I remember singing that song all the time when I was a kid. It was almost as catchy as the Tootsie Pop song.

So, what did we learn from the American advertisement? Kit Kats are to give you a break from your everyday stress, hence the “Give me a break!”. It is also something that should be shared, “Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!” Moreover, the Kit Kat bar is something lively and fun, why else would you make such a bouncy gingle?!

I do like the song in the background – I have it downloaded on my computer. In the commercial, the girl is studying for her college entrance exam before looking at the clock. She then makes a wish that the boy in the commercial does well and passes his exams. Cue the boy holding onto his Kit Kat while waiting for his results to be posted – which he apparently passes because of an e-mail the girl receives. She then proceeds to decorate her own Kit Kat box with jewels in the shape of a heart. The two meet at a station and share a Kit Kat.

So, clearly the Kit Kat in Japan are a little more “serious” than they are playful. Considering that they are a symbol for passing exams, this is to be expected. Still, the sharing Kit Kat vibe is still there, but the “Give me a Break” has been changed to “Have a Break,” which is a little more fitting with Japan’s passive-aggressive society.

So, what are your thoughts?


6 thoughts on “Kit Kat Commercials

  1. In the UK the slogan has long been “Have a break, Have a kit-kat” (since 1957 apparently!) and the general theme of the ads is that it is the perfect snack to break up an otherwise busy day.. I’ve not seen the ads for a while but rather than focus on breaking the bars\segments to share with others, the focus is on snapping a single bar and eating it alone as a personal indulgence (as far as I recall).

    An interesting article, I’m starting to feel an obsession building within me too!

    1. I guess Japan took the slogan from the UK? They do tend to borrow things and assume that since it is English it must be American.

      Amazing how easy it is to become obsessed with a silly candy bar isn’t it? I should feel ashamed, but I don’t. haha

  2. “Kit Kat” pronunciation sounds like “きっと勝つ(kitto katsu)” in Japanese so i think that’s why we made that type of commercial.. 🙂

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