Blog: Dean BestWhy the Android/KitKat tie-up may be more savvy than you think

Dean Best | 4 September 2013

Being a sceptical journalist by trade and not the most up-to-speed on tech trends, when news of the marketing tie-up between Google and Nestle dropped into my inbox,

I frowned and questioned whether the partnership between Google's Android operating system and Nestle chocolate brand KitKat was just a bit of fluff. But it may make more sense than you think.

It has, over the last 24 hours, created a flood of comment online and reams of stories in the digital sphere and in print.

But, besides the obvious exposure, there are potential strategic benefits.

Google's Android is facing increased competition from rival operating systems; Firefox, for example, has launched a new mobile OS, while Apple is rolling the latest version of its new iOS system soon.

"It keeps Google at the front in developers minds; there are lots of new mobile OS's jostling for attention at the moment. And remember iOS 7 is just weeks away," just-food director of marketing John Newton tells me.

For Nestle, well, like many FMCG companies it is wrestling with the digital world and how to harness its power - and connect with the world's consumers that continuously think in a multichannel way, increasingly consuming media and interacting with brands on mobile and tablets, let alone desktop PCs or that old relic, the TV.

In decades gone by consumer good brands may have looked to associate with sports events or teams, or perhaps a major film release. Of course, that is still being done around the world but Nestle, that food behemoth, has rather cleverly shown it has its finger on the pulse and opted to associate one of its global brands with a tech product.

To further plug the partnership, Nestle has developed a spoof ad, imitating the launch of tech products, that says KitKat has "adjustable orientation" and "global coverage", which means you can take the bar "literally anywhere".

A website has even been developed to showcase the features of the new KitKat 4.4 (the version of Android named after the bar is the 4.4 iteration).

The site describes the "user experience" of KitKat 4.4 thus: "Under its sleek exterior we've ensured maximum breakability in KitKat 4.4. This is due to the refined praline software, crisp waferware and its unique chocolate unibody. Just unwrap, break, snap and enjoy."

All good fun but it is a savvy move from Nestle. For once, this old sceptic can only nod when Nestle says: "Nestlé’s branding partnership with Google is the company's latest move in its ambition to leverage digital technology and online content to get closer to its consumers to better understand and cater to their preferences."

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