Campaigns panel: social chocolate
The brand-e Campaigns Panel simply couldn’t resist sinking its teeth into KitKat’s Social Break app which takes on the task of updating posts to social networks to reduce the pressure people feel of having to be so active on social media channels.
“This tongue-in-cheek app is right up KitKat’s alley,” says Wander Bruijel of Philips. “It’s a common sight these days. People hunched over their phones checking Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest… the list goes on. The smartphone era has changed the street landscape forever. A few years ago, whenever I took a break, I used to strike up a cigarette. Nowadays, I’m also found fiddling with my phone and filling those inbetween moments connecting with others. A much healthier addiction, but for many an addiction nonetheless.
“This ‘anti-social media’ social media app cheekily taps into this insight, and provides a tool to give people a break from their incessant social media responsibilities. Whilst I’m doubtful it will really take off, it’s a clever little initiative from the brand that is synonymous with ‘having a break’ and one of a few recent signs I’ve seen of social media fatigue.”
Lawrence Weber of The Brooklyn Brothers was less impressed, though.
“This feels clunky executionally and counterintuitive strategically,” he says. “Lots of people ‘take a break’ from their daily grind to express themselves online or connect with friends they can’t physically be with. This app is automating something people want to do themselves.”
For Richard Bates of The Brand Union, this KitKat campaign is indicative of something much larger.
“Statistics provided by KitKats’s advertising agency JWT suggest we all may soon need some type of relief from the constant demands of social media,” he says. “The research stats are mostly focused on a young Asian demographic where social media performance seems to be most demanding. I don’t think KitKat’s App goes very far to solving the problem, but it does raise interesting questions about the evolution of social media. Is Facebook forever? When the social media gold rush settles, what will have been just fad and hype, and what will evolve into a seamless part of our social lives?
“If the emotional and physical demands of social media are reaching a breaking point, I think the phenomenon deserves to be named. So I’m going to go out on a limb and call it SoMAD, Social Media Anxiety Disorder.
SoMAD can manifest itself in one or more of the following three ways:
• Feeling anxiety and potentially being overwhelmed by the increasing demands of your online social networks
• Fear of being alone, missing out, or not being connected if you do not ‘feed the beast, a Virtual Monophobia
• Fear that everyone else’s life must be more exciting than yours based on their social media posting
In need of relief? In lieu of a more intelligent solution, how about… Give me a break. Give me a break. Break me off a piece of that KitKat bar.”