Fads vs Trends| Knowing the difference.

Confusing fads vs trends often leaves creative directors angry, befuzzled or worst of all... You could kill your awesome creative idea leaving it dead in the water. :(

A fad is any sort of behavior followed by a large audience or populous for a short period time. it tends to be intensely followed and then dies off relatively quickly within a couple of months to a year.

There are some great fads out there!

Some examples of fads include...

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, duck faces, Tamagotchis, and Pokemon go.

(Anyone else freeze themselves half to death till they were blue in the face...not to mention other places I dare not mention.)



The Fad usually ends when all novelty wears off, and the excitement dies out. This is why many of our Tamagotchis are laying dead in a landfill somewhere, unfed, unloved and living in their own digital filth.

A trend however tends to rise slowler compared to a fad, but sticks around usually solving a problem for the general populous. This includes the rise in use of social media, the growth of blogging, the uses of hashtagging and of course healthier more active living.

They're usually explained the quantifiable analytics and rises in audience/ the general publics behavior.

the problem is when we write off or confuse fads with Trends we hault evolution, on the growth of technology within a company or an organization.

Alternatively if we confuse fads with trends it's like crying wolf only greatly damaging company growth due to the rapid rise and fall of audience retention when targeting or utilizing fads.

So how can we as individuals benefit from using fads?


We can tap into fads and rapidly attract new views, audience members and ride the wave to our benefit. We can also slightly modify and change the fad to make it new again and ride the wave all over again. This is great when you are marketing or advertising a product or service for a slightly extended period. Some examples of this could be the Kylo Ren challenge that was used in partnership with John Mayer in the promotion of the new star wars film.


I personally use fads all the time in my content strategy to tap into audience growth and cross promotion. A good trick to know if something is a fad look at the data see if the fad was started by an organization as promotional tool, or see if you can trace the fad to its source.

Still confused on whats a fad or a trend? Well have no fear this great video by Colleen Dilenschneider explains anything I might have missed.


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