Is “Hello Kitty Not a Cat” a Branding Campaign?

Credits: viuu.co.uk

Credits: viuu.co.uk

The recent talked about news is that the famous Hello Kitty is actually a cheerful and happy little girl living in London with her family. And she has a cat named Charmmy Kitty. Many press media deduced from there that Hello Kitty is not a cat! [Erm.. except she has a cat’s pointy ears, whiskers and a tail.]

Here we will not discuss whether Hello Kitty is a cat or human being, or whether it actually means she is a anthropomorphic feline. Here, let’s see this in a marketing and branding angle.

credits: allthecreatures.org

credits: allthecreatures.org

In my opinion, if the “Hello Kitty is a Girl” / “Hello Kitty is not a Cat” was intended as a branding campaign for the brand, then it has been a very successful campaign that reached billions of people in a matter of days.

Massive Volume of Media Reach

By typing “Hello Kitty is not a cat” on Google, you can see that there is 62.7 million search results  in 0.33 seconds.  And “Hello Kitty is a girl” garnered a total of 45.3 million search results in 0.47 seconds.

All renowned media around the world is talking about this news, from popular media news platforms such as  Wall Street Journal,  Huffington Post, Yahoo!, BBC, New York Posts and many more renowned bloggers – are all talking about Hello Kitty whether she is a girl or a cat!

So, if this is a ‘secret’ branding campaign for the Hello Kitty franchise, I should say it is a very successful one!

Credits: cutehomepets.com

Credits: cutehomepets.com

3 Golden Tips to Increase Your Brand’s Media Reach

From this recent Hello Kitty viral news, we can learn three important things to increase the media reach out for your brand.

1. Break the Rules!

People may have taken all this information at face value, but I say, this is a cleverly calculated marketing tactic. Everyone sees Hello Kitty as a cat, but the clever branding strategist brands Hello Kitty as a girl. They further stated that Hello Kitty is the personification of a girl without stating whether or not she is a cat. However, for the past few days this little announcement has made been made into a global news avalanche and people around the world discussing it over social media.

So break the rules. Do something exceptional that will create media attention to your brand.

2.  Prepare for Media Responses

Credits: memecenter.com

Credits: memecenter.com

There are always two parts to a breaking news story. First, make the news sensational. Second, get ready to clarify the media responses. In my opinion, the branding and PR strategists of the Hello Kitty franchise did a wonderful job in explaining to the media about why they said Hello Kitty is a girl.

3. Generate Emotions

Credits: doginstructions.com

Credits: doginstructions.com

We all have emotions; good or bad, happy or sad, excited or bored. If the piece of media release from our brand can make people feel and want to do something about it (such as commenting or creating more news), then it is a powerful media release.

In just a matter of days, it has made millions of people talking about this news excitedly; sharing with their family and friends on social media about their opinions of whether Hello Kitty is a cat or a girl.

In a nutshell, whether this was a purposeful branding campaign or just a misinterpreted quote, it has resulted in a powerful outcome. Increased brand awareness fuels curiosity and attention, resulting in heightened interest (and to many, adoration) in Hello Kitty.

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