Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek across the Pacific

By Christine R. Yano
Book Review:

Pink Globalization is a quite extensive book detailing Sanrio's influence on international pop culture. From the beginnings of Hello Kitty in 1974, to her arrival in the states in 1976, onward throughout today.

For all the mercenarial nature of the company, this book demonstrates how they do several things right: having multiple price points so that it is a natural gift choice, especially in Japanese society, a continual reinventing and refreshing of their brand to hook new customers while keeping most of the old, and perhaps most importantly not trying to quash any infringements on their brand that could be argued as satire (any exposure is good exposure!)

The book interviews many Kitty fans from all walks of life, with various levels of devotion. That alone makes this a somewhat interesting read. One is also surprised to learn that none of the rich and famous you see "endorsing" Hello Kitty (think Lisa Loeb's album "Hello Lisa") were compensated at all from Sanrio. Smart, smart company.

My main beef with the book is that it reads like a college sociology text, and is pretty dry in places. I'd give it 3.5 stars, but Goodreads won't allow that, so I'm rounding up.

I'd recommend this book for someone who wants to know how to make a societal movement seem effortless and fresh.

I would NOT recommend this book for someone merely interested in Hello Kitty, because I can't see them actually finishing the book.
By Warren

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