Airline Company Launches Hello Kitty Jets

February 16, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. plaster (v.) – to cover or overspread a surface, usually with posters or signs
Example I cannot see the real color of the wall, because it is plastered with posters. 

2. insignia (n.) – a unique mark or symbol that represents something
Example: The baseball fans wore shirts with their favorite team’s insignia.

3. utensil (n.) – refers to a tool that is used for a specific purpose (especially around the house)
Example: Preparing kitchen utensils is important before one starts cooking.

4. get on the bandwagon (idiom) – to join or support something because it is popular
Example: iPod’s popularity led other companies to get on the bandwagon and create a similar product.

5. invasion (n.) – the act of entering someone else’s territory
ExampleWestern countries are experiencing the invasion of Asian pop music.

Read the text below.

Hoping to attract a wider range of customers, airline company EVA Airlines has launched a new set of “Hello Kitty-themed jets.”

The company received license to use the famous character’s image on their Airbus 300-330s. The jets are plastered with the Hello Kitty insignia from the outside to the inside. They also feature Hello Kitty-decorated cabins, flight attendants in Hello Kitty fashion, and Hello Kitty pillows. As if those were not enough, the passengers get served meals shaped like Hello Kitty. Even the utensils have Hello Kitty designs.

By getting on the Hello Kitty bandwagon, the company hopes to attract clients such as families and children, other than the usual businessmen.

Additionally, brand expert Derrick Daye of consulting firm The Blake Project says EVA Airlines is not taking any big risks by associating itself with Hello Kitty because the brand is already very well-known.

Ever since Hello Kitty was introduced by Sanrio Co. in 1974, the growth of the brand has been unstoppable. Because Sanrio has allowed licenses of Hello Kitty on almost every product one can think of, the brand has become very successful.

Clearly, with the character’s cuteness being good for business, the Hello Kitty invasion is far from ending yet. As proof of this, one can just look for the cartoon cat with a red bow up in the skies.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. .

Discussion A 

     Would you want to ride on a “Hello Kitty-themed” airplane?
     Why do you think many people like Hello Kitty?

Discussion B

     Do you think using popular characters like Hello Kitty in products is a good marketing strategy? Please explain your answer.
      If you were to use to a popular character for marketing, which would you choose? Why?


February 16, 2012