Hello Kitty

I’ve always been a fan of the Hello Kitty brand, mostly because the founders never “gave” the brand a positioning, It was always about letting the consumer define what it meant to her. I loved that.

Until yesterday, I was cool with that. But yesterday I wandered around the Chicago Cultural Center (which is an amazing space) during a break from the 8th Annual Marketing to Women Conference, into an exhibit that was a celebration of type and fonts and words. (very cool exhibit, btw)

Being a marketing woman for decades, I must say the exhibit was super engaging and I took a bunch of pictures and fully enjoyed the visual stimulation.

And then I found this image titled “Hell No Kitty” and it made me sad. Especially since some guy, named Zach Schrey, whoever he is (and I’m NOT googling him) exhibited this screen print he did in 201o of the Hello Kitty image.

a sad day for women

I’m sad because this was and is an iconic brand that always inspired women to create their own meaning, which is an uber-powerful concept, especially in marketing, where the norm is to push your brand meaning out and on to your target audience. Hello Kitty trail-blazed the idea that women, even young girls, had power to create meaning in the world.

And then,  some random guy who I don’t even know just trashes all that goodness with what he calls art, titled “Hell No Kitty.” All I can say is UGH! Well, I could say more but it might be profane.

I’m posting his “art” even though I don’t want to give him any press. But I am posting it so women might be inspired to rise up and say “HELL YES KITTY” as an anthem for women to make their own mark and their own meaning in the world of marketing today.

That is the inspiration I got from the 2012 Marketing to Women conference called She’s Got the Power. She does, and she is me and you and us. So let’s just use that power. Shall we? I plan to use mine by buying and gifting Hello Kitty merchandise to all the young girls I know. Will you join me?




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