Meaningful Distractions: Hello Kitty Rocks Fender
So I've been too busy catching up on old episodes of The Sopranos to blog about marketing. In season two, a soul-searching Tony Soprano wonders out loud in his psychotherapist's office whether life is nothing more than a series of distractions until we die.
I can see how this endless series of distractions could be a philosopher's nightmare and a marketer's dream. After all, the way we relate to brands and consume branded products could be defined simply as the uniquely human quest to fill our lives with significance. As curators in our personal museum of life, we choose our distractions carefully. We surround ourselves with brands that add some value to the collection. I'd like to think that brands help make the inevitable busy-ness of life more meaningful and human.
Incidentally, summer is a great time to indulge your personal distractions. My latest is the Hello Kitty Fender Stratocaster, an interesting example of co-branding that brings together Sanrio-- a brand I have deep ties to since childhood--with Fender guitars, a powerful niche brand that I'm just getting to know. Although you may not naturally associate cutesy cartoon cat with serious electric guitar, Hello Kitty and Fender have certain things in common. Both are established brands with a cult-like following. Hello Kitty gets some serious respect from women in my generation who grew up with the brand in the late 70s and 80s, and now she is reinventing herself as a rock icon for a new generation of girls, while introducing them to a respectable guitar manufacturer.
I went with the black version of the Kitty Strat for a greater sense of authenticity (it also comes in pink but that was a bit much).
The world of Fender, now that's a different story. I'm just dipping my toes into this new lifestyle brand (it's definitely a lifestyle) as I learn to play my guitar. So far I've found it to be a welcoming planet.
All in all, when strong brands collide, it can be pretty powerful stuff. Thank goodness for meaningful distractions.