Dentsu announces '2014 Hit Products in Japan'


Advertising giant Dentsu Inc has released 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, the report said.

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

© Business Wire

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Is this satire news aka satnews from The Onion? Wow. An extravabonanza of trends!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a completely random list.

I vote for mint flavoured toothpaste and ketchup packets at fast food restaurants.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Car sharing here??? Nah! Not gonna happen 2015 nor 2020.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Eh? How is No. 6: Thinking about how to lead your life in your later years and preparations for the end of your life. A product??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a totally depressing list. Hit 'products' that include Nobel laureates?

All things on this list scream: "We are an insecure, fantasy-world-loving people who, as much as we can, want to escape reality as quickly as possible by spending our way to happiness."

In many parts of the developed world, people have come to understand that quality of life might derive from simpler pleasures than shopping, Japan still struggles with its self-image. Housewives with too much time and money shop their way to (perceived) happiness allthewhile the worker ant husbands just try to squeeze out as many overtime hours as possible. The plebs don't understand, don't care but do what they are told, again, in perceived happiness of being a 'rich' nation.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Fantasy product for 2015: two week vacation for the whole family.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am Japanese and I'm very interested in this topic because these products are all famous in Japan recentry. Especally "Frozen" and "Yo-Kai Watch". "Yo-Kai Watch" is the animation which famous especially durling children. It has cute song and we can dance easly. When I heard this song at first time, it stayed my mind whole day!!! I couldn't forget!!! I had sung all day at that time. And "Frozen" is famous all of ages. In Japan, the song "Let it go" which is sung in this movie is coverd by many great singers in Japanese!! This is very rera in our country. I think the song has very simple melody and we can remember easly. That's why "Frozen" is hit all over the world I think.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I think even Disney was hugely surprised at the success of Frozen (or Anna and the Snow Queen, the official Japanese title)--the movie ended up making over US$250 million in movie theater box office revenue, even more impressive considering Japan was the last east Asian country to premiere the movie in theaters (just before the US Blu-ray home video release came out, too). And even now, the Japanese are snapping up Frozen-related goods as fast as they reach the store shelves.

Youkai Watch of course has become a huge hit in Japan, especially since it taps into the familiar Japanese folklore knowledge of youkai creatures (in effect, similar to how GeGeGe no Kitaro became a huge hit back in the 1960's). Unfortunately, that very intimate relationship with Japanese folklore could make Youkai Watch not exportable beyond Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Car sharing is a good one for 2015, I've already used it half a dozen times here and it's incredibly convenient and easy to use.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Car sharing here???

Train sharing is already pretty big. I see people do it every day.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"Car sharing here???

Train sharing is already pretty big. I see people do it every day."

Har! I want to try helicopter sharing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like Yokai Watch! Japanese folklore is awesome. I'm waiting for it in Italy. :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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