We all had toys, trading cards and movies that we loved as children. Whilst many of them have survived the test of time and are still loved today, some remain distant memories of the fun and frivolity of our childhoods.

We're taking a trip down memory lane to look over our favourites of the past 100 years… did yours make the list?

Timeline of Crazes

What Makes a Craze a Craze?

If you want to use a craze to promote your business, you'll have to identify what it was exactly that made it popular in the first place.

For many of the items and brands from the timeline, popularity has been driven by film, television and celebrity endorsements. Associated items and brands typically require expensive endorsements and so, in most cases, being able to regularly associate yourself with these trends is somewhat unlikely.

For potential future crazes, however, chances are they will be picked up in small pockets of the country before spreading. This growth is likely to be slow and isolated to begin with, before a point is reached where popularity suddenly begins to grow exponentially. Due to this lack of foresight, it's often difficult to identify the catalyst that causes such an explosion.

Identifying Crazes and Using Them to Promote Your Business

You may remember in The Simpsons when Bart and Lisa are trying to teach Marge what it takes to be cool. They explain that trying to be cool ultimately harms your chances of achieving it. The same could be said of toys, games and even videos where the author is trying to make them ‘go viral'.

With these thoughts in mind, when planning your marketing spending it is usually wiser to work with an item that is becoming popular but hasn't yet hit the level of a craze – every craze reaches a peak in popularity before it inevitably declines. Whilst some crazes like frisbees, yoyos and Rubik's Cubes have gained a second wind of popularity and maintain a certain level of desirability, most crazes tend to end abruptly and the items never resurface in popular culture.

It is also worth noting that many crazes are controversial in that you will often find both lovers and haters. In fact, more times than not, a counter-culture that considers it cool to dislike a particular trend ends up being just as popular as the craze itself. If the craze isn't right for your brand, it isn't wise to associate yourself with it just to gain a short-term boost in popularity, particularly when we consider that a new trend is likely to be hitting the playgrounds any day now.

The Characteristics You Are Looking For

If you're considering using a craze or related item as part of your marketing plan, you need to determine whether or not the chosen item is right for you, your business and your prospects. Provided you pick the right item, your recipients will go beyond simply using the item itself – they will share their experiences with others. This in turn will provide you with increased brand awareness and potentially more future prospects.

However, the lifespan of a craze can be fickle, so pick your items carefully and try to ensure they will retain their value as fun and/or useful items even if the craze does die down (which it inevitably will).