There are things out there that everyone's heard of even if they've never seen, read, or listened to them. Harry Potter, Twilight, Lady Gaga, and so on. They are so big that they permiate our culture and will probably be remembered for a long while even when they're gone.
How does something become so big? And more importantly for this thread, what do you think the next big thing will be? TV, movies, music, books, fashion, whatever. Make your predictions.
Personally, I don't really know. I think the next big thing will be something we've seen before, maybe not a specific title, but some genre that's already been popular but right now is mostly ignored and forgotten. I'd love to see some of my favorite books suddenly gain popularity though.
Word of mouth/clever advertising is probably the catalyst for most of the emerging 'big things', but developing a rabid fanbase is the surefire way to keep your momentum up and truly BECOME the next big thing, rather than a flash-in-the-pan fad.
If I knew what the next big thing would be, I'd be doing something in order to profit from it. I'm normally the last to know about big cultural shifts like this, and am even more awful and prognosticating what they're going to be, unfortunately.
If the past decade's been anything to go by, in terms of books/movies I'd say it'd have to be something magical (in other words, not a series based on true life). Harry Potter, Twilight and Lord of the Rings have all been based off fantasy worlds, so I guess the next big series of books/movies will be as well.
As for music, the whole Lady Gaga thing must have gone straight over my head as I don't listen to her (or commercial radio in general). I just assumed she was like Simple Plan or S Club 7 or something, something that was popular/had publicity.