Remember that time in middle school when those horrible choker, fake tribal band necklaces were in? How about midriffs? Or black nail polish, skinny jeans, safety pins, straight hair, and crimped hair? Those fads were just the first few to pop into my brain when I started watching a wonderful mini-documentary by R + I Creative.

The main question posed in the 14 minute video was: are you an influencer? Those great icons, people who stood out for their times, created something new, an image, something to be sought after and emulated. Greats like Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, and Gandhi all started trends. These people have something special within them, a force to be reckoned with because they see things differently than others. They can create movements (which is a fancier word for trend) and spark shifts.

Influencers are usually people who use their creative back bone with everything. Not only can they make products “cool” but they create a nostalgia around a thought or an idea. I find this video so inspirational not even from an advertising view. Yea, trends is basically the whole plan behind marketing and advertising, so are movements and icons, but this video was different because it made me think back to why I like certain things. People, products, just plain things and why I like them.

One specific example in this video was Paul Newman. Just that name sparked inspiration for me. Not only is he a hunky man, but Paul was a fabulous actor turned philanthropist. Paul Newman started a movement that is still going strong and that has nothing to do with money and or marketing. Paul was an influencer.

Those pretty baby blue eyes could get me to buy or do anything, but because he relied on more than just his good looks (even though he didn’t have to) Paul and all the other icons should be commended.

Please watch the video below and figure out who your influencers are. Better yet, strive to make yourself an influencer for good.