But this is the first time Android has partnered with another
corporate brand. Nestle spokeswoman Nina Kruchten said no money
exchanged hands as part of the deal, which a Google spokeswoman
confirmed. Google first approached Nestle about the opportunity,
according to Google. "We couldn't imagine a better name for our
Android K release than the tasty chocolate that's been a favorite
among the team since the early days of Android," Marc Vanlerberghe,
Director of Android Marketing, said in a statement.
Hershey and Nestle look to be using the deal to build their
digital reputations. Promotion for the Hershey-branded mobile OS
will include a tactic made famous by fictional chocolatier Willy
Wonka: Hershey will distribute 50 million Kit Kat bars bearing the
Android logo and a few of them will have winning tickets redeemable
for a limited number of Nexus 7 tablets, as well as Google Play
credits, according to a Google+ update from Android.
The deal gives Google some free publicity for Android, which
will be featured on the packaging on the specially branded Kit Kat
bars in 19 countries, including the U.S., Brazil, Germany, India
and the U.K.
"We are proud and excited to have one of the world's leading
mobile innovators pair up with one of America's favorite chocolate
brands," said Jennifer Podhajsky, VP of U.S. chocolate for Hershey
Co., said in a statement. "Google's choice to name their next
Android platform release Kit Kat brings together two well-known
icons from pop culture and technology and gives the classic jingle
of 'Gimme a Break' a whole new meaning in the tech world."
Patrice Bula, head of marketing for Nestle, said in a statement
that the deal enabled the brand to "build on its strong digital
presence with interactive, creative branding campaigns."
Stewart Dryburgh, an assistant VP at Nestle who oversees global
marketing for Kit Kat, said the fact that no money exchanged hands
was an "acid test [for] how confident both parties were in each
other." He said there is an "equal amount of equity to be shared
out of this." The parties began negotiating in January and closed
the deal at in Barcelona a couple months later at a Mobile World
Kit Kat, he said, "is a brand that has a sense of humor" and the
deal helps the marketer connect with its base of base of consumers,
which he said skewed younger. "People take breaks online and Kit
Kat is about breaks," he said. Asked if the pact might foreshadow
future partnerships, he said that if things go well from the start
it "opens other opportunities."
KitKat is the second and most significant Android update under
latest Android boss Sundar Pichai. Mr. Pichai, who previously
worked on Google's Chrome web browser and Google mobile apps,
announced the branding deal in a post on his own Google+ page.
Android is the mobile OS market leader in the U.S. and is only
expected to widen that gap next year. Android currently accounts
for 45.9% of the U.S. smartphone OS market, followed by Apple's iOS
at 38.3%, according to eMarketer. In 2014, Android and iOS are
expected to grow their market shares to 47.5% and 39.5%,