GKA a creative agency


Feb 17, 2021

How To Use Nostalgia Marketing

How To Use Nostalgia Marketing

Nearly everyone is feeling nostalgic these days. The pandemic-induced loss of traditions, socializing and freedom has us all expressing “a wistful desire to return to a former time in one’s life,” the definition of nostalgia.

After the virus lockdown started, research showed that searches related to nostalgia nearly doubled. This desire for the “good old days” presents an opportunity for you to distract your target audience from current times and connect your product with happier ones.

An effective tool in marketing

A nostalgic campaign incorporates themes or products from the past to create a powerful emotional hold on an audience. When used correctly, people begin to associate your brand with positive emotion and they buy the product to evoke old feelings.

Nostalgia has a strong presence in marketing. In fact, research has shown that nostalgia evokes feelings of security and comfort, leading people to have more confidence in your brand. It has also shown that good memories can lead people to be more generous and spend more money to bring back the good old times.

For instance, in collaboration with Forever 21, Kodak used a campaign that resembled the quality of a disposable camera, showcasing their new brand image through a familiar lens.

Additionally, nostalgia reportedly decreases feelings of anxiety and loneliness, major side effects of the coronavirus pandemic that people are desperately trying to get rid of. Today’s worldwide crisis is another opportunity for this marketing approach to find success, similar to campaigns used in the 1920s Great Depression and the late 2000s Great Recession.

Getting it right

Successfully presenting a nostalgia marketing campaign is not simple. It requires really understanding what motivates your audiences and their deepest interests. It is important to remember that your campaign will hit different age groups directly.

For example, 1980s nostalgia created by “Stranger Things” and “Wonder Woman 1984” was multi-generational. For those who lived through the period, the images, clothing, mall scenes, and more evoked memories. For those born in the past couple of decades, they created a desire for items from that period.

Gender, race, geography, and other demographics can also impact the effectiveness of nostalgia as a tool. The societal divides are clearer than ever. So, remember to consider whether your desired markets will receive the message positively or if any may view it as offensive or distasteful.

In addition, you may want to revisit your older products or think of ways to present newer ones in an "old school" way. Consider using retro colors or designs for a more subtle yet completely immersive feeling. Even using old settings or music can create a positive connotation.

To create a “Stranger Things” pop-up experience, Coca-Cola took visitors back to 1985 by opening a Hawkings-themed arcade using designs, music, and games from that era.

In conclusion

Nostalgia works in campaigns for a variety of industries, particularly as people wait to get vaccinated and see their lives start returning to normal. Travel, retail, entertainment, dining, and other sectors will need to recapture their customers and the feelings they had for vacations, shopping sprees, theme parks, large celebrations, and other experiences people may be missing.

At GKA a creative agency, we can help you incorporate nostalgia marketing and other creative solutions to emerge stronger from these difficult times. Let's work together. Contact us for more information.

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