2016’s biggest fads you’ve already forgotten about
Attention spans in 2016 are non-existent. Suffice to say, capturing the imagination of the general public and media alike requires a unique combination of timing, talent, humor and luck – or a celebrity death. Taking into account the introduction of Snapchat stories, Instagram Stories, Facebook live and the like, there’s an even higher demand on our waning collective patience, with brands, celebs, wannabes and randoms creating a never-ending assault of material that’s destined to fly high and all but immediately die thereafter. And that’s just the stuff lucky enough to find an audience in the fist place.
With that in mind, here are five of the biggest fads and trends of 2016 that feel like a lifetime ago.
People died playing this. Like, literal human beings. Not even six months ago Pokemon Go sent the first world into a frenzy, the popular late 1990s/early 2000s kids’ cartoon spawning marketing gold all over again with the introduction of the alt-reality smart phone game. It was a phenomenon, businesses, buskers, creeps and real estate agents alike setting up Pokemon gyms and lures to draw attention to their own services by reeling in the hoards of people obsessed with the game.
The year 2016 wasn’t event two weeks old when news broke of 1960s-80s music icon David Bowie’s death. He hadn’t been in the public eye for the best part of a decade, having not toured for 12 years, and released only a single record since (which sold only 208,000 copies in the US). Regardless, his death garnered massive media attention – and rightly so - and Facebook was soon flooded with trend-chasing users changing their profile pictures to the Ziggy Stardust lightning bolt portrait, revealing their heartbreak at losing the man who brought them such hits as Born in the USA and American Pie…
It was three years in the making and after countless hints and plunging stock prices, GoPro finally released its long-awaited Karma Drone in September to much fanfare. It saw an immediate spike in the company’s value but almost just as quickly interest disappeared, experts labelling the quad copter a success but far from the innovation all expected. The market was already flooded, and what little share the Karma hoped to snare was all but snapped up by the smaller, cheaper, quicker, longer-lasting DJI Mavic Pro. Still can’t beat the GoPro cameras though.
So far as flash in the pans go, the Mannequin Challenge takes the cake – though it faced some stiff competition in the Running Man Challenge, which never really reached the same heights. Standing still while someone shoots a 360 video, the challenge shot to prominence in October, culminating with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton taking part. But like her campaign, the challenge’s popularity came to an abrupt end in November. The tune the accompanied it however, Rae Sremmurd’s Black Beatles, continues to dominate playlists the country over. And deservedly so.
Back at it again with the white vans. Way back in February a high school kid named Josh dropped a 30 second compilation of his buddy Daniel rocking a range of different outfits to school. He posted it to Twitter and somehow it blew up – scientists are still trying to figure out how. But upon watching, you couldn’t help but crack a smile. The lads even got invited onto Ellen, the video spawning songs and countless memes. But ripping out a “Damn Daniel” now is more meta than trend.