These days, if you’re surfing the internet for anything pop culture-related, you’re bound to come across people dressed as characters from Star Trek, stormtroopers from Star Wars or any one of the superheroes flying around movie theaters. Known as “cosplay”, this is just one aspect of the much bigger phenomenon of fandom that has gripped America and the rest of the world.
It may have been a surprise in the ’70s when William Shatner attended his first Trekkie Convention when fandom was little more than a niche reserved for the “geeks” of the world but fast forward 40 years and clubs, conventions and even museums have popped up all over the world dedicated to the television shows, movies and books that make up our popular culture. Is this a fad? Emphatically, no.
Fandom has existed in one form or another for
the better part of the last 100 years. Many will remember teenage girls
screaming over the Beatles and Elvis Presley, revealing the human need for
expression, to have feelings and to be noticed.
Promotional products play a huge part in this
fandom-driven world. It’s become such a dominant mainstay in our culture
that manufacturing companies will spend millions to secure the franchising
rights to make the toys, books, clothing, etc. associated with these fandoms.
So the next time you see a Funko
Pop! sitting on a coworker’s desk or a picture of someone
dressed as Jon Snow at a convention; don’t write it off
as a childish hobby and go about your day. Remember the huge opportunities that
fandom creates for businesses all over the world and begin thinking of the
possibilities it could have for yours.