March 4, 2020
The strength of fandoms

“We live in the most individualized and selfish era.” “We no longer have anyone to admire.” “The sense of community has been lost and the sense of belonging is not as necessary.”


All this is false.

Here we go:

While it is true that one of the characteristics of modernity is to exalt the individual; This does not mean that the As humans, we no longer feel an urgent need to relate to others for a common goal.n.

We would love for the communities that form organically to be exclusively to save the world from climate change, but there are other interesting forms with a very socially relevant role. Pop culture has become something so mobilizing on a social and ideological level that it should not be underestimated.

Twitter analyzed the most talked about topics on its platform globally from 2016 to 2019 (1); the term Fandom grew 292% and Fan Armies 410% Armies or fandoms are groups of fans of the entertainment industry; sports, TV, movies and music.

What distinguishes them from the classic fan clubs and why such a “military” name?

Basically they are defined by the time: current tools and means provide them with an unprecedented capacity to organize, propose and produce. Its power is impressive. In music, they are the ones who position their idols today. Billboard rankings use different variables to choose the best; one of them is the number of listens on Spotify and searches on Shazam. These armies They organize themselves to play a song an unreal number of times: all night while they sleep, all day while they go to school. Whatever it takes to get your favorite artist to the top and stay there. In sports, pressure from fans has even removed club presidents.

Size is also a key difference to consider: for example, when comparing Taylor Swift's fan base with that of BTS, the most important K-pop band, the North American singer's fandom is barely 5% in volume than that of the Korean band. This enormous number of people propose new content, organize massive cheers, do choreography, record themselves, upload videos to Tik Tok, illustrate, travel. We talked that 50 Shades of Gray was written thanks to nothing more and nothing less than an internet fan who made a Fan Fiction from Twilight where instead of vampires there would be businessmen. All this is produced and “given away”. Prestige comes from the number of people who recognize it, like it, admire it. But the most interesting thing is why do they do it?

After studying fandoms, it has been found that they meet a set of 3 basic human psychosocial needs: identity, self-care and social connection; For this reason, they are compared to religion and political ideologies. Fandoms end up defining who you are. It's evident in sports, one of the most passionate armies, where the type of connections with complete strangers (other fans of your team) can be stronger than even family ties. The symbolic connection gives us identity. It is more likely for a person to present himself as a “Barcelona fan” than as “Peter's son.” Cheering on a certain team fills and completes them.

Something key to understanding them is that motivation is intrinsic. Idols do not always approach them more than other less “organized” and “disciplined” fans - although there is always the desire to feel further listened. But fundamentally, it is something they do for their own well-being, without expecting too much in return. The mere fact of being convinced of how admirable what they are fans of is and of feeling part of a community with a common goal, is more than enough to encourage them. Producing content makes them creators, their self-esteem increases. They demonstrate commitment to their idols; This proves their dedication and makes them exemplary people. A virtuous circle.

And there may even be politics behind it. In Mexico, during 2019 the overwhelming phenomenon of Aristotle and Cuauhtémoc emerged; two characters that make up a gay couple in the main telenovela of Televisa (the main Open TV network in Mexico). The fandoms positioned the hashtag on Twitter #Aristemo (the sum of the two names) for 20 consecutive weeks. They achieved the first homosexual kiss on open TV and removed a deputy from the political party in power from his position for speaking ill of them. In Spain, OT fans manage to turn into stars, year after year, those who connect the most emotionally, not necessarily those who sing the best.

Knowing how to approach the phenomenon, for brands, this is “pure gold.” Contact us to talk to you not only about how these consumers represent an abysmally greater level of influence and spending capacity, but also about the model we created to understand what conditions would encourage a brand to awaken similar passions.