Social Media Marketing

3 Crazy Examples of Fad Marketing

Fad marketing sounds great. You get everybody talking about your product for a short period of time and you become the biggest subject of that week/month. The bad part of fad marketing is that the trend usually becomes irrelevant just as fast as it becomes popular.

Whether fad marketing is your favorite type of marketing or not, here are a few of the most current and extreme examples of when companies took advantage of popular social media trends.

3 Crazy Examples of Fad Marketing

1. Damn Daniel – Vans

In 2016, a series of Vines featuring one High School student saying “Damn Daniel, back at it again with the white Vans!” while the other student strutted around with his stylish clothes and white vans on his feet went viral.

According to Wikipedia, the video compilation was retweeted over 300,000 times and was looped more than 2,000,000 times on twitter. And if you were a High Schooler, a College student, or knew someone who was during 2016, you definitely heard the phrase “Damn Daniel!” multiple times for a few months.

Vans shoes took advantage of this trend and gave the video star, Daniel, a lifetime supply of white vans during his Ellen interview. According to, Van’s direct-to-consumer sales spiked 20%, while online sales jumped 30% in the quarter that this was trending.

2. Mannequin Challenge – Rae Sremmurd

In late 2016, there was a huge viral trend on Twitter and Facebook that featured people being frozen in place like mannequins during the intro to Rae Stemmurd’s song “Black Beatles. It is rumored that the trend was started on October 12th, 2016 by students from Jacksonville, Florida. But it seems suspicious (to me at least) that the song wasn’t officially released til September 13th and the album wasn’t released until August 12th.

The artists, Rae Sremmurd, released their own version of the challenge, followed by numerous sports teams, popular DJs and even companies, who used the video’s viral popularity and the use of the hashtag #mannequinchallenge to get engagement from users.

Was this entire thing a strategically planned marketing scheme to boost sales of the album? I guess we will never know.  Nevertheless, the album peaked at number 4 on the U.S. Billboard 100 charts and sold 223,000 units and was also one of the most popular (and overdone) viral memes of 2016.

3. Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge – Kylie Cosmetics

The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge is one of the more bizarre and dangerous marketing fads that occurred recently.  The challenge encouraged users to take a small cup or a shot class, put it over their mouth, and suck out the air to create suction over their lips. As a result, when the device was removed, participants would have large, inflated lips. The challenge ended up being dangerous, some participants even had their lips split open by doing this.

It was all a marketing ploy to promote Kylie Jenner and her company, Kylie Cosmetics. Sources say that there is now known origin behind the meme, probably because it got to popular and too much bad publicity for Kylie and her company to admit how it started, but once again, we will never know for sure.

Despite all of this, the Jenner/Kardashian family remains one of the most talked about and successful families on social media, raking in huge amounts of money from the products that they promote and sell.

Can you think of any other social media trends that blew up like these? Let me know in the comments!

For more easy to learn information from fellow marketing students, follow @giano_fiore on Twitter or subscribe to the Learning Social Blog!


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