The new version of Android will be hitting phones under the name “KitKat,” thanks to work by both Google and Nestle. This update will be officially designated Android 4.4, and will apparently try to mimic the easy simplicity of the snap-off chocolate wafers, offering “an amazing Android experience for everybody,” as Google claims on its announcement page.
A giant Android statue fashioned from Kit Kat bars over at Google headquarters gave the first clue to the new name. Google has a long history of naming Android software updates after candy, the latest versions including 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 4.1 Jelly Bean. The goal has always been to link the brand with sweets that signify the latest Android changes.
Originally 4.4 was called Key Lime Pie, but Google officials admitted that key lime was not a broadly popular dessert. They addressed the issue by changing the name to the popular Hershey candy and forming a marketing relationship with the corporation. The relation between the candy giant and the digital corporation remains casual and no major contracts were signed. However, the move does impact Google’s mobile marketing in several important ways.
First, the iconic chocolate bar is a powerful brand in its own right, with worldwide appeal and a powerful presence in social media thanks to Nestle’s efforts. The synergy with 30,000 followers of Kit Kat’s Twitter account proved immediately apparent with plenty of @KITKAT links, and Nestle is chipping in with more physical forms of marketing.
From Brazil to India, 50 million bars of the chocolate brand will be specially branded to celebrate the release of the software update. Google will take part with candy-oriented contests to win Nexus 7 tablets and Google Play credit to spend on new apps.
The promotions began in early September and are set to run through the beginning of 2014, giving both companies plenty of time to benefit from the mobile-candy mashup.
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