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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
Dentsu Announces "2012 Hit Products in Japan"

Dentsu Inc. (TOKYO:4324)(ISIN:JP3551520004)(President & CEO: Tadashi Ishii; Head Office: Tokyo; Capital: 58,967.1 million yen) announced today the release of its "2012 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 2012. It is based on an Internet survey of Japanese consumers carried out in November 2012 by Dentsu Marketing Insight.

Two summers have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Although the deflationary trend this year shows signs of slowing, and the consumer quest for low prices has started to wane, 2012 can be described as a year in which consumers enjoyed extravagance with reserve. Smartphones came in at number one for the third year in a row, but the fact that twelve items made their first appearance on the list shows that times are moving to a new phase.

The following top 20 products (including celebrities and social phenomena) were selected from 55 popular items and services by 1,000 Internet survey respondents aged between 20 and 69. The total scores in three categories—"recognition," "attraction and interest" and "topicality/buzz"—were calculated to determine the top products of 2012. The figures in parentheses are last year's rankings. Previously unranked products are indicated with (-).

Features shared by the top-ranking products and services are their nationwide appeal and broad support base. Tokyo Sky Tree, the local mascot characters and the London Olympic Games energized the nation; Sugi-chan and AKB48 cheered people up; and products such as robot cleaners, salted rice malt, non-alcoholic beer and Type 3 eco-cars gave people the opportunity to discover new value.

2012 Hit Products

No. 1: Smartphones (1)
No. 2: Tokyo Sky Tree (3)
No. 3: SNSs such as Facebook that require real name registration (27)
No. 4: Robot cleaners (21)
No. 5: Salted rice malt (127)
No. 6: Sugi-chan (popular comedian) (-)
No. 7: Local mascot characters (-)
No. 8: AKB48 (5)
No. 9: London Olympic Games (-)
No. 10: Low-cost carriers (39)
No. 11: iPS cells (Dr. Shinya Yamanaka) (-)
No. 12: Healthy recipe books produced by health companies and nutrition colleges (-)
No. 13: Non-alcoholic beer (-)
No. 14: Tokyo station (-)
No. 15: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (popular model, singer and fashion blogger) (-)
No. 16: Japanese athletes who are active on the international stage (-)
No. 17: Packaged instant fresh noodles (-)
No. 18: Apartment/house sharing (-)
No. 19: Type 3 eco-cars (28)
No. 20: Collaborative product promotions that span industry segments (-)


Dentsu "Hit Product Recognition Survey" Overview

Survey period:   November 17–18, 2012
Survey subjects: Men and women nationwide aged between 20 and 69
Sample size: 1,000 (responses received)
Survey type: Internet survey
Survey company: Dentsu Marketing Insight
Survey content: Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement with the following three statements about 55 popular items and services:
"I have heard of it." (recognition)
"I think it's interesting." (attraction and interest)
"People around me are talking about it." (topicality/buzz)
Ranking calculation: The scores in the three categories were added up.

Top 5 Hit Products in Earlier Years (2011 to 2004)

1. Smartphones
2. LED light bulbs
3. Tokyo Sky Tree
4. Nadeshiko Japan
5. AKB48

1. Smartphones
2. Twitter
3. Munchable chili oil
4. Digital broadcasting-equipped widescreen flat-panel TVs
5. Ryoma Sakamoto

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 Dentsu Inc.

Founded in 1901, Dentsu Inc. has held the position of the world's largest single-brand agency for almost 40 years. Through its unique "Integrated Communication Design" approach, Dentsu offers multinational clients the most comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services in the industry. While continuing to pursue innovation in the digital arena, Dentsu is active in the production and marketing of sports, movies, anime and other entertainment content on a global scale. The Dentsu Group has more than 6,000 clients and over 20,000 employees worldwide.
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