Hello Kitty’s Popularity and Its Change of Representation


Since it was introduced in the market in 1974, Hello Kitty, a fictional white cat, became a Japanese cultural icon and has been attributed as being ��kawaii�� (��cute��). Characters of Kitty have been used in a myriad of ways like iPods, PCs, Nintendo 3DS, Play Station, games, telephone, televisions, buses, jewelries, coins, and etc. Many celebrities such as Cameron Diaz, and Mariah Carey, love to buy Hello Kitty products. The manufacturer, Sanrio Co., Ltd. sold Kitty license to Walmart in the US, and maintains a Kitty character brand office in Milan, Italy. It endeavors to promote Kitty brands all over the world. This gives us a picture of Sanrio��s sales strategy in the global market. In this presentation, I will examine Kitty��s history, and its products, as well as Sanrio��s sales strategy. I examplify Sanrio��s sales strategy in the global market, intentional changes its styles every five years of Kitty��s appearance. Then, I will also focus on Kitty��s popularity in terms of its distinct characteristics and its changes in its image, as impacted by ��KITTYLAB�� with a comparison of American Girl by Pleasant Company. Accordingly, I especially focus on ��KITTYLAB,�� a new type of attraction where you can enjoy games with Kitty, and choose its parts to build your own Kitty, which totally alters the image of the cultural icon.

Author Information
Miho Tsukamoto, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: NACMFCS2014
Stream: Media and Mass Communication - Critical and Cultural Studies

This paper is part of the NACMFCS2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon