DIY: Start a fad this semester

Fads are nothing new. Pop culture seems to be almost entirely based on some sort of fad, especially when one takes a nostalgic walk down memory lane. Anyone remember the neon colors of the ‘90s?
Fads are not limited to only fashion, however, as any Beanie Baby collector can tell you (perhaps with a touch of anger or sadness, depending on how large his or her virtually worthless collection is now). While partaking in a fad can be a fun (if time and money consuming) experience, can the same be said for actually starting a fad? Here are a few tips that can help make your idea the next parachute pants, perhaps with a little less MC Hammer.
Get Creative 
All the best fads are things that have never been done before, at least in the mainstream. Tie-dye was huge in the ‘60s because it was so different. The reason fads are so memorable long after they are popular is because of how much they stand out against the prior and proceeding status quo. If you do the same old thing, no one is going to notice.
But Not too Creative
You know the old saying about “too much of a good thing?” Creativity works the same way. The biggest fads of the past decades, while creative, still are based on something that already exists. There were plenty of stuffed animals before there were Beanie Babies, and plenty of bracelets before the Livestrong ones came around. Running around with your underwear on your head might be creative, but it is too far out there to catch on with anyone.
Don’t Be Shy About It
If you have a new style, piece of clothing, game or anything that could become popular with time, you must be prepared to not only tell people about it, but be ready for others to approach you. New fads are eye catching and draw people’s curiosity. They are going to want to know everything about it: what is it, where did it come from, etc. If you are trying to start a fad, you have to be ready to answer any and all questions about it, even from complete strangers. It is the only way to make it spread.
Be Ready to Abandon Ship 
All good things must come to an end. As popular as bellbottoms and tie-dye were in the ‘60s, it is not exactly the “hip” style today. The last thing you want to do is get stuck with an old fad that is no longer popular. This is a basic business principle of staying with the times, but it applies to fashion and culture as well. You do not want to be the person playing with a yo-yo when everyone else has a Tamagotchi, do you?
Be Ready for the Fad’s Comeback 
For whatever reason, mainstream loves nostalgia. Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Furby and who knows how many other fads have died, been resurrected and died, just to be brought back again to be super popular. Just because something is no longer popular does not mean it will not be again. Be prepared for when it happens, because it will make you look like a cultural genius who is on top of all the latest trends. Unless it is Beanie Babies. Those are never coming back into style.
 These are just a few simple tips for starting, maintaining and bringing back a fad. Can you create one? Wear something that has not been seen before, create a new game, or just do something fun, crazy, wild and interesting. Who knows? Maybe one day when we are discussing fads we will mention something you started here at Mercer.