I was just driving around in my car and listening to KNX Los Angeles AM ratio 1070.
Their news break was on, and I heard what can definitely be termed a native ad for the Kit Kat candy bar.
The quick story told how the EU denied Kit Kat a trademark on their candy bar design.
They even played the “gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar” jingle as part of the story. I still can’t get it out of my head!
Here’s how this works:
The press or marketing department at Kit Kat sends out a press release to established media channels (of which 1070 is a participant).
The editor or program director at the station makes a decision about whether or not to run the “story.” If it’s a slow news day (the PR folks at Kit Kat are tracking this, btw), there’s a good chance the story will run.
The key point is that there’s not really a hard news story here. Who cares if Europe doesn’t want to grant them a trademark on the way the candy’s shaped?
It’s much more useful for Kit Kat to get their advertising jingle onto the air while drivers travel across Southern California. The PR/marketing people at Kit Kat know this, and they attached the jingle MP3 to the press release with that in mind.
Everything’s super easy for the program director at 1070.
Result: Free advertising, and KNX 1070 has a nifty little story to fill in dull time on their radio stations. This story probably ran on hundreds of radio stations and affiliates across the United States.