Sanrio steps up brand building across EMEA

In a strong start to 2016, Sanrio has stepped up its brand building activity, looking to tap into its Japanese DNA and to win a more adult consumer across EMEA with fun, immersive activations.

Hello Kitty appeared at two cherry blossom viewing events in April, in the LVMH owned Jardin d’ Acclimatation in Paris and in Stockholm’s Kungsträdgårdens, where the iconic character appeared with cosplayers, martial artists and musicians to introduce people to this springtime Japanese tradition.

The cherry blossom theme continues at MCM London Comic Con (May 27th – 29th) with the debut of Hello Kitty’s Superhero Hanami: fans will be able to experience a Hello Kitty themed Japanese garden, taking photos by Mount Kitty, posing under a Hello Kitty tori gate, building Sanrio avatars or even tending the Hello Kitty Zen Garden. The Superhero Hanami will then tour Comic Cons in other key European cities over the next six months to surprise and delight lovers of all things kawaii. Gudetama, Sanrio’s lazy egg character, so beloved of bloggers and early adopters is also taking a starring role in the Superhero Hanami…if we can persuade it to get out of bed, for once!

June 1st sees the launch of a summer-long Hello Kitty pop-up café in the city of her birth, a collaboration with Soho-based bakery Cutter & Squidge. The pop-up will serve themed afternoon teas in a secret garden environment and sell a range of limited edition merchandise and takeaway food items. Also launching this summer, Florence will become the first European city to host a permanent Hello Kitty café: the Hello Kitty Patisserie.

The Italian Hello Kitty patisserie joins the Hello Kitty chalets near Lake Garda and Rome which are welcoming holiday goers for the first time this summer. As part of a three way partnership between Sanrio, Nestle Gelati Motta and ECVacanze, the idea has proved popular with many weeks already booked up.

The sweet treats don’t end there, with new partners including Dots (Euro Pastry), Dunkin’ Donuts, Annabel Karmel and Candy Kittens, the brand owned by Made In Chelsea’s Jamie Laing. We take the attitude that a little of what you fancy does you good, particularly if balanced with regular exercise…

Keep your eye on the ball as Hello Kitty will appear in the UEFA Champions League next season! You can bet on her as the ultimate team player as her favourite saying goes ‘you can never have too many friends!’. But football is not her only sporting talent, as we launch Hello Kitty branded gi later this year with Moya Brand, a well-known martial arts brand which sponsors many promising athletes.

Finally, Sanrio across EMEA and Australasia will participate in Sanrio’s global character ranking in June to give fans the chance to vote for their favourite characters and discover new ones.

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