The product, Poke Muhi S Hello Kitty, is a 15ml roll-on balm designed to treat itches caused by insect bites as well as other sources, produced by Ikeda Mohando. The pairing between the famous cat-like creature and the Akihabara-based starlets has resulted in a new group specifically for the purpose of selling an insect-bite aid: ‘PokeMuhi Motta Dempagumi.inc to Hello Kitty’. The initiative is the work of Hakuhodo and Hakuhodo Kettle.
The debut music video from the collective, entitled Munasawagi no himitsu (which roughly translates as ‘secret unease’) tells a story of unrequited love. If you are struggling to see the connection with an anti-itch cream, have patience. The song’s lyrics are a play on uneasiness and frustration, which are apparently common factors in both unrequited love and mosquito bites.
Since girls in love wear ribbons, according to the song, the Dempagumi girls are shown searching energetically for ribbons of their own. According to a spokesperson for the work, the video’s dance routine has the stars “swatting bites and scratching their bodies as well”. The spokesperson said the group’s time together would be limited, but noted that they would also launch a CD, which goes on sale on 17 June.
As part of the promotion, fans of Dempagumi.inc (which include middle-aged businessmen) have the chance to win concert tickets to see their idols, as well as undisclosed premium items. While 300 tickets are available, 20 selected winners will also have the chance to meet the girls—and Hello Kitty—backstage.
Meanwhile, Dempagumi.inc is following in the footsteps of more corporate Japanese corporations by internationalising. The group has given concerts in Southeast Asia and will perform in France and North America this year.