Monday, February 15, 2010

Hello Kitty Instantiated

I saw these two Hello Kitty related pop-ups in Shanghai mentioned on the Asian Art Museum blog recently, and the magnetic pull of Sanrio pulled me further. I was pulled back to some of the most pleasant flights I've ever had, on EVA Air, which happened to be on EVA's "Hello Kitty Jet" (left).

  • Shanghai's No. 6 line, which is the only to run only in Pudong, is named the "Hello Kitty Line" -- all accents are a happy shade of pink. [Pictures via Wangjianshuo's blog]
  • Listed as one of the "most bizarre hostels in the world," the Hello Kitty Houses -- also in Shanghai -- offer luxury amid cat-shaped chairs and lots of pink ribbons. [More photos here.]
  • But forget not Bank of America's recent launch of Hello-Kitty themed debit accounts. And the MAC makeup line? And the Hello Kitty Parachute Paradise iPhone game?
  • The question on the mind of every 11 year old in Sanrio Puroland: How can Sanrio have so effectively leveraged their brand to move from fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) to full blown infrastructure projects?
  • Scholarship holds the answer. Perhaps we may find the key in this business case study on SUPERbranding. Or this one, which guides the young entrepreneur through Hello Kitty's move towards unisexual appeal. See also "Hello Kitty and the Identity Politics in Taiwan" for a post-colonial perspective. Or "Japan's Gross National Cool" (Foreign Policy) for an international relations perspective. "Hello Kitty Items a Global Rage in “Zen cuteness” (Japan Times) may touch on problems of religious syncretism as well. Hello Kitty Darth Vader has a magnum opus cooking on this one.

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