Hello Kitty Brings Branding Bonanza to L.A.
Cute-culture pioneer and licensing juggernaut Hello Kitty will celebrate its 45th anniversary this year. The cartoon character is coming to Los Angeles to celebrate with the Hello Kitty Friends Around the World Pop-Up Tour.
From Sept.20 to Oct. 20, the pop-up tour will produce a 10,000-square-foot Hello Kitty experience based at LA Plaza Village building at the edge of Los Angeles’ Chinatown. For tickets ranging from $22 to $50, Hello Kitty fans can walk through installations of Hello Kitty in Tokyo, Paris, New York City and Honolulu.
Of course, this tour would not be complete without merchandise. A lot of it. The installation’s Baggage Claim gift shop will offer exclusive Hello Kitty 45th anniversary styles, along with Hello Kitty collaborations with brands such as Girl Skateboards, Herschel Supply Co., and Levi’s. But that's not all— nail care company OPI will offer Hello Kitty manicures. At a Hello Kitty Café, there will be Hello Kitty drinks, sweets and popcorn. From Sept. 20-29, there will be a Hello Kitty-themed Toyota Sienna minivan parked in front of the installation.
All of this branding activity goes way beyond being cute. According to a Financial Review article, Hello Kitty’s 2016 licensed product sales were estimated to be worth $4.4 billion.