Do Nestlé’s New KitKat Ads Leave A Good Or A Bad Taste In Your Mouth?

Nestlé is trumpeting KitKat's commitment to sustainable cocoa farming with a new series of ads set in the Ivory Coast.

The films star former Chelsea and Ivory Coast footballer Didier Drogba, and YouTube travel personality Louis Cole, whose YouTube channel Fun For Louis has over 1.7 million subscribers.

There’s no question they’re extremely well-shot, if a little heavy-handed at times. In the main film, Didier and Louis visit a school (paid for by Nestlé) where super-cute kids are studying, and give them some KitKat-branded footballs. Meanwhile, a nerdy Nestlé staffer casually slides in the factoid that KitKat is “the first global confectionery brand to become 100% sustainable.”

You could be cynical, and say the company has only done this because of  bad publicity caused by a Greenpeace campaign that accused Nestlé of exploiting the rainforest for palm oil. This Greenpeace ad, got 500,000 views and was followed by several other videos such as this one, pointing the finger at Nestlé’s cultivation practices for endangering orang-utans.

And yes, many reactions to the campaign have indeed been negative. The main film has garnered only 48,000 views (so far) and its ratio of likes to dislikes is running at barely 60-40. It has also attracted a fair number of sniping comments: YouTuber ‘TheOther99%’, for example, opines of Louis Cole that “Just because you have dreadlocks doesn't mean you ain’t a corporate shill.”

But whatever the motivation behind the company’s actions, you have to admit that those actions are creating positive change for the Ivory Coast.

Nestlé has built 40 schools there. Provided a living for thousands of farmers. And now, made the whole shebang environmentally sustainable.

When a client has a product which has a problem, one always hopes that advertising can make a difference.

In this case, perhaps it has.