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Dentsu Announces "2014 Hit Products in Japan"

—The movie “Frozen,” talking mascot characters and Tokyo Skytree chosen as the top three—

TOKYO — (BUSINESS WIRE) — November 26, 2014 — Dentsu Inc. (TOKYO:4324)(ISIN:JP3551520004)(President & CEO: Tadashi Ishii; Head Office: Tokyo; Capital: 74,609.81 million yen) announced today the release of its “2014 Hit Products in Japan” report. Produced as part of a series that has been chronicling hit products since 1985, the latest report examines major trends that represented the consumer mindset in 2014. It is based on an Internet survey of Japanese consumers carried out in November 2014 by Dentsu Macromill Insight, Inc.

Although 2014 was a year in which Japan and the Japanese people themselves regained confidence as a result of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Abenomics policies to stimulate the Japanese economy, it was a “year of ambivalence” in which an awareness of the need to economize fueled by the consumption tax increase in April intersected with aggressive consumption.

According to a close analysis of the rankings made by the Dentsu Innovation Institute, the fact that there is a lot of bright, cheerful content such as the movie Frozen, talking mascot characters such as Funassyi, the Yo-kai Watch games, manga and toys, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Halloween costumes in the top-ranked products shows that although people do not want to return to the gloomy deflation era and yet still do not have the courage to move forward with confidence, there are cheerful, comfortable feelings propping them up.

Although growth is stagnant, the strength of the Japanese economy, Japan’s participation in overseas events such as the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, the Japanese Nobel laureates who invented blue LEDs, global recognition of the Tomioka Silk Mill as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO, and the ongoing development in Japan of electric vehicles (including fuel cell-powered vehicles) and jet aircraft have enhanced the country’s profile both at home and abroad.

In addition, lightweight wearable terminals and other futuristic technology applications are appearing one after another, and are making inroads into our lifestyles. 3D printers and public Wi-Fi are technologies that are closely related with our daily lives, and will boost expectations toward lifestyle innovations.

The following top 20 products (which include some popular content and social phenomena) were selected from 130 popular items and services by 1,200 Internet survey respondents aged between 20 and 69. The figures in parentheses are last year’s rankings. Previously unranked products are indicated with (–).

2014 Hit Products
No. 1: Frozen (Walt Disney animated movie) (–)
No. 2: Talking mascot characters (10*)
No. 3: Tokyo Skytree (1)
No. 4: Free voice call apps (such as LINE) (13)
No. 5: Yo-kai Watch (games, manga and toys) (–)
No. 6: Smartphones (3)
No. 7: SNSs such as Facebook that require real name registration (24)
No. 8: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ (Universal Studios Japan) (–)
No. 9: Convenience store freshly brewed coffee (7)
No. 10: Robot cleaners (4)
No. 11: NHK television morning drama series (–)
No. 12: Sochi Winter Olympic Games (–)
No. 13: Hybrid cars (2)
No. 14: Japanese Nobel laureates (for blue LEDs) (–)
No. 15: Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) (Japanese anime movie) (22)
No. 16: Halloween costumes (60)
No. 17: Tablet devices (35)
No. 18: Tomioka Silk Mill (–)
No. 19: Premium beer (–)
No. 20: Compact cars/K-cars (engine displacement up to 660 cc) (16)

*Last year “local mascot characters” came in at No. 10.

This year, a “2015 Expected Hit Products” list was compiled using the products selected for the “It has been popular this year. / It is popular now.” category as a base and then focusing on those selected for the “It will become popular.” category.

2015 Expected Hit Products
No. 1: Electric vehicles (including fuel cell-powered vehicles)
No. 2: 3D printers
No. 3: Low-priced smartphones
No. 4: Jet aircraft manufactured in Japan
No. 5: 4K television sets
No. 6: Thinking about how to lead your life in your later years and preparations for the end of your life
No. 7: Smartwatches
No. 8: Car sharing
No. 9: Public Wi-Fi
No. 10: Wearable cameras


Dentsu “Hit Product Recognition Survey” Overview

Survey period:   November 7–10, 2014
Survey subjects: Men and women nationwide aged between 20 and 69
Sample size: 1,200 (responses received)
Survey type: Internet survey
Survey company: Dentsu Macromill Insight, Inc.
Survey content: Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement with the following four statements about 130 items and services:
“It has been popular this year. / It is popular now.”
“It will become popular.”
“It is not popular, and will not become popular in the future.”
“I have never heard of it.”

Top Five Hit Products in Earlier Years (2013 to 2004)

1. Tokyo Skytree
2. Hybrid cars
3. Smartphones
4. Robot cleaners
5. Vehicle collision prevention systems

1. Smartphones
2. Tokyo Skytree
3. SNSs such as Facebook that require real name registration
4. Robot cleaners
5. Salted rice malt

1. Smartphones
2. LED light bulbs
3. Tokyo Skytree
4. Nadeshiko Japan (the Japan women’s national football team who won the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Germany™ tournament)
5. AKB48 (48-member all-girl theater/idol group with its own theater in Akihabara, Tokyo)

1. Smartphones
2. Twitter
3. Munchable chili oil
4. Digital broadcasting-equipped widescreen flat-panel TVs
5. Ryoma Sakamoto (1836–1867; popular historical figure and visionary who played a key role in bringing about the Meiji Restoration. “The Legend of Ryoma” TV drama series also became a hit this year.)

1. Hybrid vehicles
2. Flu masks
3. Low-priced domestic fashions
4. Vehicles eligible for tax reductions and eco vehicle purchasing subsidies
5. Eco-point energy-saving home appliances

1. Innovative remote-controlled TV games
2. Gake no Ue no Ponyo (Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea)
3. Digital broadcasting-equipped widescreen flat-panel televisions
4. Bargain products (private brand products/outlet malls)
5. Touch pen portable games

1. Touch pen portable games
2. Innovative remote-controlled TV games
3. Billy’s BootCamp™
4. Digital cameras
5. Widescreen flat-panel televisions

1. Brain training products
2. Widescreen flat-panel televisions
3. The Da Vinci Code
4. HDD-equipped DVD recorders
5. High-performance portable game machines

1. Portable digital audio players
2. HDD-equipped DVD recorders
3. Blogs
4. Widescreen flat-panel televisions
5. Agar weed gelatin

1. Widescreen flat panel televisions
2. Japanese baseball players in the U.S. Major League
3. Crying Out for Love, from the Center of the World (Sekai no Chushin de, Ai wo Sakebu, novel, movie, and TV drama)
4. HDD-equipped DVD recorders
5. Black vinegar

[About the Dentsu Group]

Dentsu is the world’s largest advertising agency brand. Led by Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo: 4324; ISIN: JP3551520004), a company with a history of 113 years of innovation, the Dentsu Group provides a comprehensive range of client-centric brand, integrated communications, media and digital services through its eight global network brands—Carat, Dentsu, Dentsu media, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Posterscope and Vizeum—as well as through its specialist/multi-market brands including Amnet, Amplifi, Data2Decisions, Mitchell Communications (PR), psLIVE and 360i.

The Dentsu Group has a strong presence in 124 countries across five continents, and employs around 40,000 dedicated professionals. Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd., its global business headquarters in London, oversees Dentsu’s agency operations outside of Japan. The Group is also active in the production and marketing of sports and entertainment content on a global scale.


Dentsu Inc.
Shusaku Kannan, (813) 6216-8042
Senior Manager
Corporate Communications Division
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