Android's New Operating System Name Is Spelled O-R-E-O

Oreo, the world’s top-selling cookie, is getting into technology.

Well, sort of.

The next version of the Android mobile operating system is named Oreo, Google and Oreo announced Monday.

The collaboration between Google and Oreo’s parent company, Mondelez International Inc., follows some generic sweet-treat names for versions of the operating system. They include Donut, Eclair, Gingerbread, Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich and, most recently, Nougat, which debuted in 2016. Version 8.0 is the second branded sweet; version 4.4 was dubbed KitKat.

The Android Oreo name and superhero (more about that below) are being unveiled Monday at a solar eclipse viewing event outside New York’s Chelsea Market, the location of the original Nabisco bakery where the first Oreo was baked.

Oreo has played with major cultural events before, such as when the lights went out at the Superdome during the Super Bowl in 2013 and Oreo tweeted, “You can still dunk in the dark.”

Coming hand-in-hand with the Android Oreo release is a female superhero (think: green Android mascot with a belly made from an Oreo), which the brands say is meant to mix the “playfulness” of Oreo and the “intelligence” of Android.

The Android Oreo superhero.
The Android Oreo superhero. Credit: Mondelez International

Earlier this year during the cookie’s Oreo Dunk Challenge, Google and Oreo created a mobile site on which viewers could virtually dunk one of the cookies, launch it into “space” and back via Google Earth and Google Street View.

While many brands jumped on eclipse-related marketing for the first time, back in March 2015 during a partial solar eclipse in the U.K., Oreo placed out-of-home ads in which a cookie blocked the sun. The campaign won multiple awards, including at Cannes.

On Monday, the brands revealed the Android Oreo name and a movable, interactive statue of the superhero, which has four poses. (Google has statues for previous operating system releases on display outside its California headquarters.) Oreo recipes and activities, along with a limited run of Android-embossed cookies, are also part of the plans, says Justin Parnell, Oreo’s global brand director.

Getting its name on the Android operating system was “a pure co-branding partnership,” Parnell says, adding that Oreo didn’t pay for naming rights. Oreo, however, is spending on plans to support the partnership over the next several months, he says. One activation being discussed is mounting a drone with nine hologram projectors to make it seem like the Android Oreo superhero is flying in the air. The brands will also interact via social media.

The Android operating system project also serves as a lead-in to a new global promotion the cookie brand is planning for 2018, which Parnell says will “focus on sparking new playful mobile experiences.”

Oreo worked with The Martin Agency, 360i and Weber Shandwick on the project.