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.
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