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Dentsu announces hit products in Japan in 2011

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Dentsu Inc has released its 2011 Hit Products in Japan report. Produced as part of a series that has been chronicling hit products since 1985, the latest report examines and generalizes major trends that represented the "consumer mindset" in 2011. It is based on an Internet survey of Japanese consumers carried out in November 2011 by Dentsu Innovation Institute (DII).

The following top 20 products (including some popular content and social phenomena) were selected by the Internet survey respondents from approximately 130 popular items. The total scores in three categories - "recognition," "have/ had interest" and "is/was popular" - were calculated to determine the top products of 2011.

The figures in parentheses are last year's rankings. Previously unranked products are indicated with (-).

The proliferation of smartphones is continuing, and this product once again ranked No. 1. While information tools such as smartphones and tablets along with social media services such as Twitter rank in the top 20, the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake which occurred on March 11 can be seen in the No. 2 ranking for LED light bulbs and the first-time appearance of several energy-saving and eco-friendly products. The high rankings for Tokyo Sky Tree, Nadeshiko Japan and AKB48 can be attributed to the way in which they lifted a weary nation's spirits.

2011 Hit Products

No. 1: Smartphones (1) No. 2: LED light bulbs (10) No. 3: Tokyo Sky Tree (new broadcasting tower scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2012) (7) No. 4: Nadeshiko Japan (the Japan women's national soccer team who won the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Germany tournament) (-) No. 5: AKB48 (48-member all-girl theater/idol group with its own theater in Akihabara, Tokyo) (18) No. 6: Mana Ashida (a seven-year-old child actress, model, singer and celebrity) (-) No. 7: Hybrid vehicles (16) No. 8: Disaster prevention supplies and emergency food supplies (purchased in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake) (-) No. 9: Electric and battery-powered fans (although most Japanese homes are equipped with air conditioners, many families bought and used electric or battery-powered fans instead to conserve energy in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake) (-) No. 10: Digital broadcasting-equipped widescreen flat-panel TVs (4) No. 11: Munchable (chunky) chili oil (3) No. 12: Energy-saving home appliances (-) No. 13: Lady Gaga (-) No. 14: Automatic bread makers (-) No. 15: Tablet information devices (tablets) (19) No. 16: B-grade local gourmet food (term used for inexpensive local food eaten in a casual setting; A-grade refers to expensive gourmet food eaten in a formal setting.) (11) No. 17: Steve Jobs (-) No. 18: Twitter and other microblogging platforms (2) No. 19: Electric cars (-) No. 20: K-pop music groups (Girls' Generation, Kara and other Korean groups)

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15 Comments
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I couldn't care less..

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

There's something pathetic about people who join the mindless herd and buy the same thing everyone else does, whether they need it or not. Some of the items on this list are artifices. The flat TVs sold because the analog types were rendered obsolescent. Sales plummeted after August. Lady Gaga and Steve Jobs are obligatory token foreigners that get added to the annual lists as an afterthought. Their impact on Japanese is close to zero.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I agree with Virtuoso, Steve Jobs might even be out of the picture before the year is over, and Lady Gaga might easily be replaced by a new young idol.

LED light bulbs may not reach that high, depending on the cost, as well as the state of the economy -- Electric cars and Hybrid cars may be in the same boat. Smartphones and microblogs might be a lot closer to each other.

Speaking about Smartphones, I think it would be logical if the list specified imported or locally-made phones. Personally, I believe that imported phones would take a bigger share of the market (Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, etc) as it does this year.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I agree with Virtuoso, Steve Jobs might even be out of the picture before the year is over, and Lady Gaga might easily be replaced by a new young idol.

Lady Gaga is not an idol, wtf

Speaking about Smartphones, I think it would be logical if the list specified imported or locally-made phones. Personally, I believe that imported phones would take a bigger share of the market (Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, etc) as it does this year.

Imported phones did not sell better than domestic phones in Japan, even for smartphones. Apple sells quite a bit but Nokia's market share in Japan is tiny, Samsung is still quite small and Sony Ericsson is not an import.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I could care less.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

6 Child talento?? Are you kidding me? At least Mana chan is "not quite" as annoying as the little kid who pitches Toyota cars. But, they just keep getting younger and younger... perhaps in 2012 we will see Baby telento? In this country, it's possible.
-4 ( +0 / -4 )

AKB48 is number 5, up 18 places. And supposedly its because of how they "lifted a weary nation's spirit". Yeh, right. Sorry, but that is pure nonsense. IMO it is because all those downloads by otaku men aimed at lifting something other than their spirit -- in the privacy of a local Internet cafe.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I love Dentsu!! And that funny Italian guy on Japanese tv! I think he married the daughter of the Dentsu company president??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

dentsu, thinking for us so we dont have to. just keep staring at the tube

1 ( +1 / -0 )

anything that finished below 'munchable chunky chilli oil' can consider themselves a failure..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How are Steve Jobs, Lady Ga Ga and AKB48 hit products? This country just gets whackier every day!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Love Man-chan but will be sick of her in a bout a week or two. Yeah Toyota boy is a bit last month.

And that funny Italian guy on Japanese tv!

He is funny? Not quite. Havent had much time for him since he sold his soul and appeared in the tobacco advertising.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AKB doesn't have 48 members, so you might want to correct the article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AKB48 (not that it really matters, but still)

The 48 in the name has another meaning. Supposedly it's from the kanji of the name of the creator, or something similar, but I don't know where to ind documentation of that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I didn't know Steve Jobs was a product.... They should have mass-produced him them...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga are not products. This list makes no sense

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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