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Android KitKat – Taking Endorsement Too Far?

It’s a little know fact here on the n3rdabl3 team that I’m very much into my marketing and advertising. So when the news of the latest Android release dubbed ‘KitKat’ hit my desk. I was rather shocked.

Product placement and endorsements have been around for years and are not something new. Nor are they wrong by any moral or legal standard. From a public view however these sorts of deals and advertising lead consumers minds afar. So in the case of Android and KitKat. What does it mean for the market and the consumer?

Lets take a step back and get to understand the role of product placements. After all they are everywhere. Remember Rainbow Six: Vegas 2? That game had promotional billboards that changed on each play session. Games such as FIFA or any other sports game are, at the basic level, just massive product placements. But there isn’t anything wrong about this. The sports themselves have product placement to help fund the costs and likewise, games and entertainment media do the same. London 2012. The event of the last few years and before we even know what’s happening we have sponsors and endorsements.

So looking at it like that why would I raise the flag of concern at the idea of Android and KitKat getting together in a partnership? First off let me make it clear that both Android and Nestle have stated that no side is making money out of this. It’s simply a product naming and a viral campaign. That’s fine. The concerns I raise however come with the future and the risk of the product failing.

Many will say, and even some members of the n3rdabl3 team, that this is a great step forward for Android. Giving them the chance to get more widely known in the market and have a fighting chance against Apple and iOS. Now, that’s true. Apple have owned the marketplace for too long but really, does another Android release, mainly one using a brand name, have a fighting chance?

The short answer is yes but the long answer is more then likely a no. I welcome the markets that Google and Android have yet to reach being promoted on the front of KitKat packaging. However, if either Nestle runs into trouble or the Android release is a ‘failure’ then where does it leave the other side? These sorts of deals are risky and though we are looking at two companies who are, lets face it, not in any chance of failing in the next five years. That’s not to say that there products won’t.

Some might say I’m still a bit bitter over the fact that Android is very fragmented and another release is going to further this issue. Then again, maybe I’m more concerned about the flood gates. Thinking about it though Google are really, in many ways, the only company who can get away with such things. If Apple announced tomorrow that there latest product, the Apple ‘iPepsi’ is to be branded, promoted and all the in partnership with Pepsi. How do you think the world would react?

It’s hit and miss and though I’m no expert nor someone who has any creditable way of knowing that what I say is truly accurate. The sharing of a personal view is never bad. In closing I do welcome and enjoy what Google have done here and the results should be promising. However I will still watch my step, less I fall victim to the on coming sea of products and brands coming together.

Though the idea of the PlayStation Mountain Dew X4 does sound nice.  Plus at the end of the day, given the chance, most of us would sell out.

This article is in no way linked to any product placement. If companies would like to pay me for using their names in articles then that’s awesome. Unless it’s Coca Cola.