Summary of Superfandom

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Rating

8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Recommendation

Squishable COO Zoe Fraade-Blanar and CEO Aaron M. Glazer provide a tour of the expanding world of pop culture fandom. The authors examine marketing, fan motivations and fan activities ranging from wearing costumes as Star Wars “cosplayers” to working hard to resurrect discontinued Polaroid instant film. Their book describes the allure and dangers that fans hold for marketers of pop culture. It shows how companies such as Disney and Cards Against Humanity successfully maintain mutually beneficial fan relationships. It also offers cautionary tales of fan engagement initiatives that backfired. Fraade-Blanar and Glazer provide an entertaining, informative and practical mix of subculture anthropology and marketing theory. Their insights are relevant reading for marketers, content creators and mavens of pop culture…and these days, pretty much everything is pop culture.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why people develop a fan-level devotion to people or products in popular culture,
  • How they demonstrate their fandom through their activities, and
  • Why businesses must tread carefully when striving to tap fan enthusiasm for marketing.
 

About the Authors

Zoe Fraade-Blanar is a faculty member of New York University’s Journalism and Interactive Telecommunications Programs and COO of Squishable where Aaron M. Glazer is CEO and co-founder.

 

Summary

A Complex Phenomenon

Fandom is not a new phenomenon. The rise of the Internet and other platforms simply broadens its power and its reach. The roots of fandom cropped up among the earliest humans when tribes bonded over spiritual beliefs or disdain for outsiders. In the 19th century, the term “musicomania” arose to describe a new, rapturous devotion to opera stars and concert musicians.


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