Dentsu New School’s Akira Kagami opened his Q&A with Hello Kitty creator Roberto Lanzi by asking him to explain the “secret” of the character’s success.
Lanzi, who is operating officer of Sanrio Co., responded: The biggest secret was really thinking out of the box.”
No doubt something was lost in the translation to the Cannes English-listening audience, but it didn’t seem all that insightful to me, and didn’t really explain the secret behind the brand’s success. But Lanzi went on to tick off the varied product lines Hello Kitty has inspired, including: Fresh salmon, olive oil, chicken eggs, red wine, toilets, weddings, cars, pierced tongues, and even tombstones.
“That’s what we do,” Lanzi said, which was followed by an ovation. “Thank you, thank you,” he said.