#PopVultures Podcast: Why is Hello Kitty so famous?

The Pop Vultures Yeo Sam Jo (left) and Jan Lee (right) discuss why Hello Kitty is so famous.
The Pop Vultures Yeo Sam Jo (left) and Jan Lee (right) discuss why Hello Kitty is so famous.ST PHOTO: PENELOPE LEE

#PopVultures Ep 16: Why is Hello Kitty so famous?

24:46 mins

Synopsis: A podcast by The Straits Times that examines all the ins and outs of pop culture, be it Asian entertainment or Hollywood.

Do you know that Hello Kitty rakes in billions annually and has more Google hits than Mickey Mouse and Britney Spears?

The beloved character created by Japanese company Sanrio has taken the world by storm since she first appeared on a coin purse in 1974. But she has also earned her fair share of detractors who are confused by a "cat without a mouth".

The #PopVultures examine this pop culture icon's enduring legacy. What makes Hello Kitty so popular with adults and children alike? They look back on the infamous McDonald's toy frenzy of 2000, where people queued overnight, fought, got arrested and even smashed a glass door - all in the name of "limited edition" Hello Kitty dolls. Hosts Jan Lee and Yeo Sam Jo also discuss the false concept of scarcity when it comes to Japanese goods, Hello Kitty's symbolism beyond kawaii-ness, as well as share some trivia about the ubiquitous cartoon character that might surprise you.

Produced by: Jan Lee, Yeo Sam Jo & Penelope Hannah Lee

Edited by: Yeo Sam Jo

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Feedback to: podcast@sph.com.sg
janlee@sph.com.sg
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