The snack food market in Japan is a crowded one and it also commands a premium. Kit Kat was looking for a new avenue for distribution and growth. The Japanese translation of Kit Kat, Kitto Katso, means "surely win" - an encouraging good luck message.
There is a Japanese tradition to send good luck messages to students about to take their exams before university. So when the Japan Postal service was being privatized, Kit Kat seized an opportunity and created a business model that didn't exist before. Kit Kat partnered with the newly privatized post office and created a new package of the chocolate snack that could be posted, called Kit Kat Mail. People could write their message on the packaging, put a stamp on it and put it in the mail. Many of the post office branches decorated their stores with Kit Kat branding around the exam times.
Kit Kat Mail became, as a result, part of popular culture.
The move gave Kit Kat an additional 20,000 distribution outlets which were free from competition. PR coverage of the move totaled more than $11m in free media exposure.
Japan Post established Kit Kat Mail as a permanent product offering in their outlets and the campaign won the Media Lion Grand Prix at Cannes.