Derf’s Theory

Since the inception of services and goods, a lot has been offered to the market. Most of the products derived come as a result of consumer demand while others are introduced by producers to test the market. There are products that last for a long time in the market while others normally have a short life-cycle (Mendelsohn 23). These aspects have resulted in the development of various products including fads. Fads are usually introduced by a small group, and they are later embraced by a large number of people where the popularity is quite high, but with time, the popularity tends to decline since people lose interest.

Derf’s theory is a theory about how things get to be cool. Derf uses a comic strip to represent or showcase this theory. He uses a step by step representation to bring out various components of the theory. The theory has concentrated on showing the evolution involved with a fad. Derf tries to ensure that the view he portrays regarding fads is as accurate as possible. Some fads have actually followed this diagram the very same way it has been presented. He uses a demonstrative approach, but the theory is implicit in nature. It has a deeper meaning than what would be interpreted by merely looking at the diagram. The approach is quite informative. Derf tries to poke fun on reasons why people in the society adopt various trends using a comic. Derf uses the comic to show people the life-cycles of a fad. This includes its initiation up to the point where it is no longer regarded relevant, and people are not into it anymore. The fad involved in this case is the hardened booger that people used to hang from their nose. It was first embraced by a small group of people, and with time, it was adopted by other individuals for various reasons. Despite its popularity, the fad is no longer in fashion. It has already become extinct, and you would not see anyone in the current generation trying to practice it. This has been the same case with various fads that have existed in the past. They are embraced and practiced widely for a short period, after which they are discarded and people do not desire to be associated with them anymore.

The meaning of how things get to be cool is not outright. This is because the theory involved in this comic is implicit. It has a deeper meaning than what meets the eye. The first box of the comic tries to show how the fad came into existence. In this case, it was a group of art students that visited a local coffee shop. However, it was not certain of the person who started the trend. The second box shows how the fad moves on to other people. Hipsters all over the city adopted the booger after its initiation. Hipsters are young people who are normally regarded as being stylish, trendy or progressive (Mendelsohn 39). They normally value counter-culture, independent thinking, and creativity among other things. As a result, they are likely to adopt such a trend. Most people look up to them in this respect and are likely to adopt whatever they see this group of people doing. Unpopular music groups also adopted this fad too and Tabitha, who is an MTV news anchor. This helps the fad to spread all over the city where numerous high school students adopt the trend. The third box changes the tone by exhibiting slow discretion with regards to the fad. It is more of celebrities that used to be popular trying to regain their relevance by associating with the younger generation. The fourth box shows Calvin Klein attempting to take advantage of the booger fad in order to advertise their new line of products in an attempt of reaching a large audience. This comic shows that a fad usually originates from a small group of people, and it spreads to various parts of the city or country. The media and celebrities help in spreading the fad in various areas. People are likely to copy what such sources have to offer (Mendelsohn 44). The people that have already adopted the fad also have the ability to associate with individuals embracing the fad. That is why celebrities and organizations use it as an approach to marketing themselves.

There have been various fads in the past years, which took the market by storm but are no longer as robust as they used to be. Sometime back in 2007, most of my friends who were older than me had adopted the Crocs fad. These were plastic shoes that really looked strange with odd holes and wild colors. To say the least, the shoes were ugly. My friends who were fond of the shoes also admitted that they were ugly, but reiterated that they were comfortable. The marketers of the shoes cited how they were well-suited for food servers, nurses, cooks, and bartenders. The shoes ended up being more popular with both adults and kids across the country. Celebrities such as Terri Hatcher, Mario Batali, and Jack Nicholson were used to advertise the shoes. The public upon seeing such individuals embracing the shoes made them increase their desire to purchase. The company made a lot of sales (Berger 117). However, the fad crashed in 2008 where the sales dropped, and the company had to retrench many employees in order to reduce costs. Since this period, I did not see my friends wear the shoes anymore. They cited the reason as being bored and did not feel as if the shoes intrigued them. At this point, one of them acknowledged that they were ugly, and that is the reason she was not going to wear them again; something that had not stopped her from wearing them before. This experience affirms derf’s theory. A fad starts with a small group of people that tend to spread it to other people through various mechanisms. The moment celebrities embrace or endorse fads, more people become interested. As a result, the people involved with the product tend to increase. With time, people lose interest, and the fad is no longer popular among the people. To some extent, it becomes weird to people who at one time appraised it.


Works Cited

Berger, Arthur. Ads, Fads, and Consumer Culture: Advertising’s Impact on American Character   and Society. 4th ed. N.p.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. Print.

Mendelsohn, Daniel Adam. Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop    Culture. New York: New York Review, 2012. Print.

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