The entire book is stellar, and the storytelling is marvelous throughout. It is more of a ride through fandom-try than anything else. Not only does this book state why fandoms are important and why they will continue to be, but it also backtracks to history. Where fandom started and where they are headed with the new digital age.
An entire episode of popular television series The Big Bang Theory centres on the main character, Sheldon, obsessing over a vintage 1975 Mego Star Trek Transporter toy. With 50 years and just under 550 combined hours of television and film, Star Trek practically created the template for fandom and the nerd culture of today. All the four male heroes in Big Bang are science geniuses, as well as Trekkies, as Star Trek fans are called, fluent in Klingon and often play Boggle in the language. They are also major superhero fans, and their usual idea of weekend fun is an evening at the local comic bookstore—their big getaways are always Star Trek conventions and Comic Cons. Fandom has swelled with the rise of modern consumerism, technological advances and the spread of infotainment. Fans today go well beyond geeks. Some 40,000 people attended Berkshire Hathway’s (Warren Buffet’s company) annual general meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2014. Look at the top 10 movies worldwide any year—most of them, if not all, are based on sci-fi/fantasy/children classics that are evergreen, with huge franchises and fan bases. This year’s surprise top hits were women-centric—Wonder Woman and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. And then there are the fans of football or baseball clubs and musicians.
I consumatori alfa della nostra società. Così vengono definiti i fan, o meglio i ‘super fan’, persone talmente appassionate da un prodotto, o da un film, un musicista, una serie tv da diventare più esperti degli stessi creatori. Per analizzare questa crescente ossessione, Zoe Fraade-Blanar e Aaron M. Glazer hanno pubblicato il volume “Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are” (Superfandom: come le nostre ossessioni stanno cambiando i nostri acquisti e chi siamo).
Are you a superfan? Is there a particular service, product, company, or activity in which you are unreasonably obsessed? If so, you may want to consider investing the time to read Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are. The reason that I read Superfandom is also the way I read Superfandom – as an audiobook from Audible. (8 hours, 27 minutes). My obsession is listening to books, which in the world of audiobooks that places me as a superfan of Audible.com. The status of being a superfan is, as Superfandom unpacks, complicated.
A book looks at how brands go about perpetuating their existence in admiring hearts and minds
Engaging customers is one of the biggest concerns in marketing practice today. How can a brand become a part of consumers’ lives without being an intrusion is a question marketers grapple with. All the more so at a time when various surveys reveal that brand loyalty is dying. The one constant — well, almost, may be a community of diehard fans, and this is a situation marketers would do well to cultivate.
Superfandom How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are Aaron M Glazer and Zoe Fraade-Blanar Hachette 318 pages; Rs 499 In April, Carter Wilkerson, a teenager from Nevada, tweeted to Wendy’s, an American fast food chain: “Yo@Wendys how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?” Mr Wilkerson’s tweet was probably in jest, but Wendy’s chose to humour him nonetheless: “18 million.” Mr Wilkerson’s subsequent tweet, in which he asks Tweeples (short for “Twitter people”) around the …
Squishables, the stuffed-animal company Fraade-Blanar, Engr ’02, and Glazer, A&S ’02 (BA/MA), founded in 2007, uses its online fans to develop new products. With Superfandom, the married authors explore the many ways fans—Disney World social clubs, Polaroid film loyalists, Warren Buffet enthusiasts attending Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, and more—influence the companies, products, and business culture of the objects of their fandom. As businesspeople themselves, Fraade-Blanar and Glazer don’t pause to consider the larger issues that might arise via such mass identification with commercial enterprises. That said, Superfandom deftly mixes cultural reporting into a 21st century–economy book to create an entertaining tour of obsessive brand loyalty.
Collect them all. Those three words put a smile on every marketer’s face and fear in every parent’s heart. “Collect them all,” as you may remember, was kid-code for “bug your parents until they buy stuff,” making you the envy of everyone in third grade. Your goal now: to capture that buyer’s obsession at the level you’ll see in “Superfandom” by Zoe Fraade-Blanar & Aaron M. Glazer.
Each time Justin Bieber launches a new CD, his fans organize a “buyout.” They march through Kmarts and Best Buys in an attempt to propel the album to the top of the charts. Since few of the teens own CD players, the CDs are often collected and donated to charity at the end of the shopping spree.
Rituals and customs like these, Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron Glazer suggest, bind fans closer to the object of their adulation and to one another. Fueled, of course, by social media, the modern explosion of fandom can do wonders for the “brand.”
Here’s an insightful and entertaining look at the culture of fandom, from its early days right up to the present. The authors focus on the way fandom has evolved from an essentially passive pastime—people liked something, so they tried to acquire it or produce their own versions of it—to a symbiotic relationship between consumer and producer. These days, acquisition is a lot easier than it used to be, thanks to online shopping, which means that fans have more time for peripheral activities, including—and this is the most fascinating element of the book—persuading the people who make things to make the things the fans want. The authors call it a “fandom singularity”: marketers exploit fans by producing things they know the fans will buy, while at the same time fans influence what the marketers produce (there’s a hugely popular, entirely computer-generated Japanese pop singer, Hatsune Miku, whose material is often suggested or even written by “her” fans). Well-reasoned and engagingly written, this book will make readers realize that a new product that seems to have been made just for them, so perfectly does it fit their taste, probably was—because marketers know what we want and because we’ve told the marketers to give it to us. Fascinating and more than a little frightening.— David Pitt