Sunday, November 23, 2014

She is 40 years old, worth Billions of dollars, never ever said anything and doesn’t even have a mouth. So those of you who discount Hello Kitty as just a lunch box cartoon, think twice when your kid is doodling something. It might just become iconic. Never discourage creativity and originality no matter how stupid it seems to you. They even just held the first ever Hello Kitty Convention that drew tens of thousands of fans to the event of which many were a lot older than ten year old girls. Just look around in any Chinese food restaurant and you will find statues of kittens and Hello Kitty as a symbol of good luck. Here let me draw something with no mouth and call it good luck . Sigh

At the convention that went from October 30 to November 2 , you could get permanent tattoos of the figure. Katy Perry featured her tattoo in one of her music videos. 25 thousand fans flocked to a tiny museum in downtown Los Angeles to view all the products made with the face of a cat on it and celebrate the figure’s 40 year old fame. It is the embodiment of cute.  The Sanrio Company owns and licenses Hello Kitty along with many other well known cartoon characters. The company reportedly made $8 Billion dollars in 2013 alone.  There are 50,000 Hello Kitty products being sold in more than 70 countries. Now that is great promotion.

Dave Marchi, Sr. Director of Marketing at Sanrio says, “You can live your life from, waking up from your Hello Kitty alarm clock and go to your Hello Kitty coffeemaker and toaster to bathroom accessories that are available.  To any product available.” What makes her relevant for 40 years?    It starts  with good design and quality products that Sanrio has accomplished. Without ever saying something people say to themselves whatever they feel they want her to express like a silent religious statue.  Back in 1975 it all started with a simple coin purse introduced in Japan.

The  commercialism is a marketing dream. There are vintage treasures shared, and new items like candy from Dylan’s Candy Bar, pajamas, makeup from Sephora that also makes Cover Girl Products and tons of products sold at Target. There is even high fashion. Hello Kitty couture for your favorite costume party. Food Network star Jeff Goldwing features the Hello Kitty cupcakes. There are flower designs and jewelry all with the iconic kitty face nearby.  By now it all sounds like a nightmare to me but who am I?           They has SPAM workshops at the convention where you shaped the cat from SPAM, decorated it and then could eat the thing. Ugh!

The real credit goes to artist Yuko Yamaguchi who is the woman  designer of the figure who has been drawing the thing for decades and is responsible for the figure’s world domination. Tattoos are symbols of where you are in a stage of your life and become life long reminders so no wonder tattoos were very popular at the first ever convention. We will not be saying Good Bye Kitty anytime soon I suppose.                                                                                                                                    

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