Spotted! KitKat breaks the mould

Custom bars and an Instagrammable environment are all part of an effort to engage young candy consumers.

There’s been some Willy Wonka-like magic happening on a busy, downtown Toronto street.

KitKat has opened up a “Chocolatory” pop-up for the month, inviting locals to create their own custom KitKat bars. The customization goes beyond simply putting one’s name on the bar: participants can also choose from three kinds of chocolate and up to three of 16 additional flavours, generating more than 2,000 possible combinations. They can also select customized packaging as part of KitKat’s “Create Your Break” social campaign.

The space is part-candy shop, part-social media playground, with areas for taking Instagram photos of your chocolates, as well as a lit-up selfie room. Participants can also watch through a window as their custom bar is created.

The Chocolatory is part of an effort to promote the new KitKat Ruby, a pink-hued chocolate bar with a light berry flavour. The flavour is currently exclusively available at the Chocolatory, along with other rotating, pre-selected flavour combinations such as caramel popcorn and almond, berry and hibiscus, chocolate fudge and mint, among others.

The custom shop first appeared in Japan in 2014. Several Chocolatory locations have opened across the country, all of them permanent. While the Toronto location is just an experimental pop-up, the brand used the foot-traffic heavy location of Queen and Spadina to attract its young fans.

The pop-up will continue on throughout the month of June. Promotional efforts from parent company Nestle have included custom content from BlogTO and Narcity, as well as influencer content on Instagram, all targeting the GTA.

The media buy began in the pre-launch phase to build awareness and continues to support the pop-up. Nestle worked with SDI Marketing to bring the idea to Toronto and customize it for the market. Its main media partner was Cadreon, which led the social advertising and influencer support. PR was managed internally.

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