A JAPANESE HIT: Welcome to the World of High-Tech Pet Surrogates

While the bursting of Japan’s bubble economy hobbled many high-priced products, other items benefited from the mood swing of that country’s consumer economy. Take the category of ‘high-tech pet surrogates.’ In a recent report on ‘1992 Hit Products in Japan,’ Tokyo-based Dentsu Inc. cited a couple pet surrogates that ‘look and feel like the real thing, offer a similar feeling of companionship and provide a sense of comfort for the modern urbanite.’ One product, the Aqua-World mini-aquarium, has a fake fish whose movements are ‘amazingly life-like.’ Then there are Breezy Singers, bogus birds that ’emit realistic bird calls when petted.’ Protectionists must wonder: Will these items threaten our domestic high-tech pet surrogate market?
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)