Tokyo Skytree, hybrid cars + smartphones are top three in Dentsu's "2013 Hit Products in Japan"

tokyo-sky-tower1.jpgDentsu Inc. Tokyo has released its '2013 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 2013. It is based on an Internet survey of Japanese consumers carried out in November 2013 by Dentsu Macromill Inc.

2013 was a year in which 'reality exceeded expectations'.It began with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics" policies to stimulate the Japanese economy, and the rise in Japanese stock prices attracted worldwide attention. In June Mount Fuji was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, and in September Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The latter two appear in the 2013 Current Events/Signs of the Times rankings.
The following top 20 products and current events/signs of the times were selected from around 100 popular items and services by 1,000 Internet survey respondents aged between 20 and 69. The total scores in three categories: "recognition", "degree of interest" and "topicality/buzz" were calculated to determine the top products of 2013. The figures in parentheses are last year's rankings. Previously unranked products are indicated with (-).

Some of the top-ranking products are items that have been consistently popular over the last few years and have evolved further; others appeal to a wide age range and across geographical regions. Vehicle collision prevention systems and 3D printers are not just a transient boom; they are products which offer development potential. Easy-to-use items that provide authentic quality such as convenience store coffee and packaged instant fresh noodles also ranked high this year.

2013 Hit Products
No. 1: Tokyo Skytree (2) - pictured above
No. 2: Hybrid cars (-)
No. 3: Smartphones (1)
No. 4: Robot cleaners (4)
No. 5: Vehicle collision prevention systems (-)
No. 6: Theme park anniversary events (-)
No. 7: Convenience store freshly brewed coffee (-)
No. 8: Air fryers (low-fat or non-oil fryers, referred to as ―nonfryers‖ in Japan) (-)
No. 9: Electric automobiles (-)
No. 10: Local mascot characters (7)
No. 11: Packaged instant fresh noodles (17)
No. 12: 3D printers (-)
No. 13: Free voice call apps (such as LINE) (23)
No. 14: Low-cost carriers (10)
No. 15: Salted rice malt (5)
No. 16: Compact cars/K-cars (engine displacement up to 660 cc)* (19)
*Referred to as ―Type 3 Eco-cars‖ in the 2012 Report
No. 17: Convenience store and supermarket premium private label brands (-)
No. 18: Tekken's (Japanese standup comedian) flip book animation (-)
No. 19: Tokyo station (14)
No. 20: FOSHU*-approved beverages (28)
*Food for Specified Health Uses, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

2013 Current Events/Signs of the Times
No. 1: The Japan Series champions Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (Japanese pro baseball team) and their outstanding starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka who led them to victory
No. 2: Registration of Mount Fuji as a UNESCO World Heritage site
No. 3: Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games
No. 4: ‗Hanzawa Naoki' (2013 Japanese television series following the story of a banker named Naoki Hanzawa; the show had consistently high ratings)
No. 5: ‗Ama-chan' (2013 Japanese television morning drama series about a high-school girl who became a shellfish diver)
No. 6: Ceremonial rebuilding of the Ise Grand Shrine and Izumo Grand Shrine
No. 7: Southern All Stars (Japanese rock band) comeback live tour
No. 8: Baseball legends Shigeo Nagashima and Hideki Matsui presented with the People's Honor Award
No. 9: ‗The Wind Rises' (2013 Japanese animated historical fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki)
No. 10: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (popular Japanese model, singer and fashion blogger)

Dentsu "Hit Product Recognition Survey" Overview
Survey period: November 15-17, 2013
Survey subjects: Men and women nationwide aged between 20 and 69
Sample size: 1,000 (responses received)
Survey type: Internet survey
Survey company: Dentsu Macromill Inc.
Survey content: Respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement with the following three statements about 130 popular items, services and signs of the times:
―I have heard of it.‖ (recognition)
―I like it.‖ (degree of interest)
―I think that people like it.‖ (topicality/buzz)
Ranking calculation: The ranking was made by adding together the scores in the three categories, mainly those in the latter two categories.

Top 5 Hit Products in Earlier Years (2012 to 2004)
2012
1. Smartphones
2. Tokyo Skytree
3. SNSs such as Facebook that require real name registration
4. Robot cleaners
5. Salted rice malt
2011
1. Smartphones
2. LED light bulbs
3. Tokyo Skytree
4. Nadeshiko Japan
5. AKB48
2010
1. Smartphones
2. Twitter
4 / 5
3. Munchable chili oil
4. Digital broadcasting-equipped widescreen flat-panel TVs
5. Ryoma Sakamoto
2009
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
2008
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
2007
1. Touch pen portable games
2. Innovative remote-controlled TV games
3. Billy's BootCamp™
4. Digital cameras
5. Widescreen flat-panel televisions
2006
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
2005
1. Portable digital audio players
2. HDD-equipped DVD recorders
3. Blogs
4. Widescreen flat-panel televisions
5. Agar weed gelatin
2004
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

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