Google Android 4.4 is now KitKat as Nestle-Google Secret Deal makes Android the first Product Placement OS

“We realised that very few people actually know the taste of a key lime pie. One of the snacks that we keep in our kitchen for late-night coding are KitKats. And someone said: ‘Hey, why don’t we call the release KitKat?’”

Excerpt from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) interview with Director of Android Global partnerships John Lagerling

Bit of a Disclaimer here before I begin. As can be seen from my previous articles and articles to come, I am a big fan of St. Mary Banana Chips, D&G Malta and KitKats as those are snacks I often eat while writing. So for me, this article is NOT, I repeat, NOT about my love for Android as I’m strictly a Apple fanboy. Rather, it’s my continuing adoration of Swiss Miss Nestle’s KitKat Candybar.

And now on to the news….

Google has surprised everyone with a name change to their popular Operating System, Android. As per tradition, they name their globally popular OS after a sweet tasting desert, as after all, that what’s on my mind when Googlers write code!


So everyone was expecting the next iteration of Google Android Operating System to be name Key Lime Pie, as was being constantly touted in the blogpshere and the Media ever since Google I/O on Wednesday May 15th 2013. Imagine, therefore the global surprise when it was announced today that the new name for Google Android 4.4 would be Google Android KitKat and that Nestle had agree to plaster the Google Android KitKat Man all over my fave candy bar’s wrapper, coming to store in Jamaica in a few months time.

Also, the cheeky employees at Google usually drop hints of the name change by placing a statue of the Google Android Man decked out in his new name on the company Lawn at their Mountain View Headquarters in California, the last of course being JellyBean. And so they did, placing a statue of the Google Android Man all decked out in KitKat bars, making this the First Product placement Mobile Operating System from Google, catching everyone by surprise, even Googlers!

Previous names from the Google Android team have been all generic foods named in Alphabetic order, most likely foods Programmers munch on (nom, nom, nom, crunch, crunch, crunch, burp!) while coding late into the night:

  1. Cupcake

  2. Donut

  3. Eclair

  4. Froyo (short for frozen yoghurt)

  5. Gingerbread

  6. Honeycomb

  7. Ice Cream Sandwich

  8. Jelly Bean

Google Android KitKat – Why the name change?

The change from “Key Lime Pie” to a branded product “KitKat” is not without risks, says Simon Myers, a partner at the consultancy Prophet, quote: “If your brand is hooked up with another, you inevitably become associated with that other brand, for good or ill. If that brand or business has some reputational issues that emerge, it would be naive to think as a brand owner that your good name, your brand equity, would not be affected”.

But Google seems up to the challenge, realizing that, truth be told, their programmer knew KitKats as a more common snack than Key Lime Pie. After all, who eats Pie (of any soft, ma Cherie!) while programming? KitKats sound more like the kinda snack you’ld expect to find in Google’s Headquarters confectionary dispensary!

Google Android KitKat – When, where and how did Google make the ole’ switcheroo

Google’s Director of Android Global partnerships John Lagerling had previously called Nestle after realizing that in late 2012, Google Engineers were having second thoughts and cold feet about Key Lime Pie, which is the national Dish of Florida, for those with an eye for facts.

So it didn’t jive with the Californians, many of whom were just simply into KitKats for a late nigh snack….as am I. Director of Android Global partnerships John Lagerling agreed and followed up with Googlers close to the Android project by calling Swiss Chocolatier Nestle, the brand holders of the product name.

The following day and one Conference Call later, the deal was sealed. Nestle would produce 50 million KitKat Bars with the new Google Android KitKat Logo emblazoned for nineteen (19) of its markets, with mainly First World Countries being listed:

  1. UK

  2. US

  3. Brazil

  4. India

  5. Japan

  6. Russia

Interestingly too, no money is to change hands; Google gets its brand for free on Nestle KitKat wrappers most likely in exchange for Google making all searches for “Chocolate”, “Candy Bar” or a combination of both turn up Nestle KitKat Website, now emblazoned with references to the tie up and cool video adverts touting the advertising shtick.

Effectively, Google Android 4.4 aka KitKat becomes the first Operating System be it on Smartphones, Tablets or Laptops to be branded via a Product Placement Campaign. Advantage Google, as everyone knows Nestle KitKat and can identify with this globally loved chocolate Candy Bar brand! (nom, nom, nom, crunch, crunch, crunch, burp!)

Nestle’s Marketing Chief Patrice Bula aka the “Swiss Miss” while recognizing the branding risks of associating Nestle KitKat with Google in term of the success or failure reflecting back on their product, the realize that the brand association had great potential, quote: “When you try to lead a new way of communicating and profiling a brand you always have a higher risk than doing something much more traditional. You can go round the swimming pool 10 times wondering if the water is cold or hot or you say: ‘Let’s jump.’”.

Risks? Google Android 4.4. may be prone to nuances and problems, typical of any Beta version of an smartphone OS. That may reflect badly on Nestle’s KitKat Candy bar. Equally, Nestle’s problems as it relates to a boycott of its products over their attempts to patent everything from water to certain naturally occurring plant remedies means Google may face flack from environmental and anti-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) as well as anti-privacy groups  that have an axe to grind again BOTH Google and Nestle via this tie-up.

Their advert, though, is nice, especially the way they mock Apple’s Johnny Ive’s and his perfectionist slant towards Apple’s products in describing the Nestle KitKat Candybar. Clearly it’s a jab at Apple by describing Google Android 4.4 aka KitKat as being as perfect “confectionary perfectionary” when compared to the Apple OS. Something tells me that Google is gonna have a lot of fun with KitKat!

Apparently the secret handshaking went down under the shadow MWC (Mobile World Congress), the big pow-wow for Mobile Handset makers that took place during the week of Monday February 25th 2013 in Barcelona! Cloak-and-Dagger for KitKats has a nice ring to it!

Amazingly the whole thing was kept super secret, even in this age of Social Networks, smartphones and email.

They did this by constantly referring to the whole project by the name Key Lime Pie to the point that even the very Google staffers knew nothing else. The true nature of the Google tie-in with Nestle was held close to the breast of a tight-knit Team who knew the details, who no doubt had to take a polygraph test and sweat allegiance to the Great Google Android Man!

Google Android KitKat – Jamaica to Get a Bite of the Mascot

“Fun an’ joke aside” [spoken with Jamaican Creole Accent], to summarize, Googlers close to Google Android Mascot and his famed OS changed their minds in November 2012 and thus chatted up Nestle long distance in a Conference Call. They said yes and “bada boom bada bing” [spoken with Italian Accent] Nestle and Google signed off on this historic deal back then under the guise of MWC in February 2013.

Nestle then began printing the special candy wrappers some (2) months ago in July 2013. And we’re now JUST knowing all this along with the equally surprised Google staffers when the Google Android Mascot came out dressed up in KitKats!

Hopefully a good wind will blow a Panamanian ship off course and a couple trailer load of KitKats, to paraphrase Vybz Kartel, will wind up here in Jamaica via Banana Boat Importers and ICI (Informal Commercial Importers), as sales of Nestle’s product will skyrocket, no matter the price. This as Jamaicans are slowly going smartphone crazy as noted in my analysis piece Apple iPhone boosts Jamaican smartphone usage as BB goes Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

Most likely too, Nestle will have some kind of Smartphone and KitKat with a measure of Google Android thrown in somewhere themed promotion similar to Boom Energy Drink Boom Shaka Boom App Promotion. Hence my excitement with this sudden announcement as I’m awaiting word of a promotion from Jamaica’s local Nestle Representative that responsible for the importation and manufacture of Nestle Product here in Jamaica.

In the mean time Google and Nestle, Gimme a break, Gimme a Break, Gimme me a break of that Google Android KitKat Bar! I see in the future a Trailer Load of KitKat “down a wharf fe clear”, Shabba Ranks Style!

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.