Hello Kitty—the iconic cartoon image gracing thousands of children’s toys and clothing throughout the globe—is now promoting alcoholic beverages. Wine with names like “Hello Kitty Angel” (white) and “Hello Kitty Devil” (red) will be available for purchase in May.
The Rosé label features Hello Kitty in a little black dress, winking and holding a glass of wine. The “Devil” and “Angel” wine labels show Hello Kitty with a devil’s tail and angel wings, respectively, and heart-shaped tattoos on each of their behinds. The Brut Rose label displays Hello Kitty in a pink onesie with hearts, and has a special prize hanging on each bottle: a little Hello Kitty pendant on a chain.
Italian winemaker Tenimenti Castelrotto, along with with Camomilla, an Italian fashion company, collaborated to sell the wine with the Hello Kitty brand worldwide. Their rationale for this campaign: “Hello Kitty is not just for children. She is a recognized cult fashion icon among teenagers and adults around the world.”
The Hello Kitty Wine website also lists recipes for mixing the wine with distilled spirits, juice, and/or sugar to make special cocktails. They look like recipes for homemade Hello Kitty alcopops.
The CEO of Innovation Spirits, the company in charge of marketing the wines in the U.S., said that they see the Hello Kitty brand identity as somewhat mature and open to various product interpretations. Their tagline for the wine products is “Our favorite girl has grown up,” to indicate that Hello Kitty, in her 35 years of existence, has crossed over to being a brand for children and adults alike.
The little kitten advertising the alcohol does not look like mature. Her face looks like a young kitten, not a 35-year-old wine drinker. Children will immediately recognize Hello Kitty on the bottles, and want to have one of the pendants. Teenage girls, not legally able to obtain alcohol, are also attracted to the Hello Kitty brand.
Hello Kitty’s portfolio may have expanded from inexpensive coin purses for girls to include luxury fashion bags for women, but alcohol is not like any other product. It is not for children and adults alike, and should not be advertised as such.
Original article from www.MarinInstitute.org.