The Power of Nostalgia in Marketing

Nostalgia Marketing Blog

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As technology moves the world forward faster than ever before, some brands are taking a step backward to capitalize on our fond memories of the past. From fashion to fast food, companies continue to bring back old products, logos, and designs for what we call “nostalgia marketing.”

For the past several years, we’ve seen a resurgence of the 80s as brands marketed themselves to Generation X. Now, millennials are the most highly desirable consumer market, which means the 90s are making a comeback. In 2021, Doritos brought back 3D Doritos, which were popular in the 90s but were discontinued in the early 2000s.

Another example is Burger King’s 2021 rebrand. In Q1 2021, Burger King reverted to a logo similar to the one they used prior to 1999. This rebrand was part of a strategy that helped Burger King bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic and generated lots of marketing buzz. According to CNBC, in Q2 2021, Burger King saw its same-store sales rise by 18.2%. The previous year, same-store sales had taken a 13.4% dip.

Why is nostalgia marketing effective?

Nostalgia marketing works because of a concept called “rosy retrospection.” This is when people perceive memories of the past more favorably than when the events actually occurred. A collection of many of these events is what creates nostalgia.

“Nostalgia is seen as a general form of rosy recollections involving a wide class of events and numerous causes.”

Terence R. Mitchell and Leigh Thompson, “A Theory of Temporal Adjustments of the Evaluation of Events: Rosy Prospection & Rosy Retrospection,” Advances in Managerial Cognition and Organizational Information Processing

When Doritos attempts to create nostalgia by bringing back chips from the 90s, they don’t just want people to remember those specific chips. They want it to bring back some of the emotions and memories that people associate with that time. For Millennials, 90s nostalgia provokes the feeling of being young and carefree once more.

To use nostalgia effectively, choose the right time and audience

Before you use nostalgia marketing, determine the desired outcome of your marketing campaign. Are you looking to release a new product, boost sales of an existing product, or capture a new market? Are you looking to attract Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, or Gen Z? From there, you can identify what type of content from the past might relate to your audience.

Is nostalgia marketing right for you?

Copy & Art offers marketing and advertising services, digital solutions, and brand development hand-tailored to your specific needs and audience. Our team of experts will work with you to brainstorm and develop the perfect nostalgic marketing campaign.

If you’re not quite sure how to incorporate nostalgia into your marketing campaign, we can help you develop a multichannel strategy. Contact us at [email protected] or call (914) 607-7888, and be sure to follow us on social media.

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