trends paper - 1 Tricia Mittman SI 110 Final Paper...

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1 Tricia Mittman SI 110 Final Paper Consumers aged 12-20 spend $1 billion a year on commercialized trends, according to the PBS Frontline documentary Merchants of Cool . Americans view around 3,000 advertisements per day, indicating to them what is ‘cool’ and ‘in’ at the moment . But how do they know what is trendy at any given time? The United States spends $6 .7 billion annually on market research . Our communications industry has the highest expenditure of any other country, and this is due to the extreme promotion of . Trends form as a product of increasing interest in a unique subject that eventually reaches the popular market where they are merchandised and sold to consumers aiming to be considered ‘trendy’ . By popularizing the trend, it becomes less unique and eventually a new trend replaces it – most of the time . Trends that ultimately survive and become incorporated in our culture have the unique component of becoming a social necessity, and thus influential in our lives . A trend becomes a social necessity when it is not only simply a luxury or a hobby, but also way through which people conduct their daily lives. If a trend fades, nobody would be significantly worse off (except the inventors, perhaps); however if a social necessity disappears, society would be harmed and culture would face a noticeable loss. While the primary channel of spreading trends used to be newspapers, TV, and magazines, the Internet has largely taken over the job. The Internet’s immediacy has enabled trend spreading to occur exponentially faster, and subsequently trends have a
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2 much shorter lifecycle than before. Before the days of the Internet, the methods by which trends spread were primarily through print and TV sources. These types of media are created days, weeks, or months before their release, and by specialists trained in these fields. This allowed a more careful construction of trends and trend spreading, as the publication or TV program was cautiously edited to depict the exact messages the media wanted to spread. These media outlets, such as Vogue magazine or the Today show, served as the primary trend spreaders that people followed. On the contrary, the Internet has made it possible for anyone to become a trend spreader. By creating a blog or website, anonymous people can post trends and interests for all to see. Perez Hilton, a famous gossip blog, is the 143 rd most trafficked website in America. Perez constantly posts his favorite trends, from music to fashion to political ideologies, and millions of people each day tune in to see his latest picks. Unlike a magazine or newspaper, Internet blogs can be accessed by millions of people seconds after their creation. This makes the trend recognizable much sooner than if it had been advertised in a magazine and eventually read by people in the weeks to follow. Internet bloggers, magazine editors, and other media serve as the trend spreaders
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2011 for the course COMM 211 taught by Professor Traubaut during the Spring '08 term at University of Michigan.

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trends paper - 1 Tricia Mittman SI 110 Final Paper...

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