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Where Nostalgia Marketing Really Works

Nostalgia Marketing

I recently wrote about the huge growth in using emotion detection as a marketing strategy. Similar to that subject, nostalgia marketing is a tactic that taps directly into our emotions—evoking memories of happier, simpler times. But why is this tactic so effective when it comes to marketing?

Millennials Love Nostalgia

This marketing strategy is proving to work exceptionally well with Millennials. This age demographic relies on emotions to assess their world; it’s how Facebook and Instagram became household words. They also are moving at a faster, more hectic pace than ever before.

Because Millennials are so technologically connected, they are constantly bombarded with information at an alarming speed. Only so much of this information can be retained—nostalgia marketing is one way to reach through the clutter and make a memorable impact on this demographic. 

For example, any Millennial probably remembers “SunnyD.” This is just one of the brands that used nostalgia to tap into those memories of simpler, carefree days. Putting a humorous spin on it increased the “share” factor.




Online Surveys

Questions like “what were you doing when…” or “what video game did you master when you were X years old…” are great lead-ins for utilizing nostalgia. People love to share their memories with their social media networks. Increase the participation by showing pictures of pre-tech innovations (remember the Veg-Matic?).

Not only will surveys build your database relative to personas you are trying to reach, it’s also a great way to keep the engagement going when users share these surveys with their online friends.

Holiday Heartstrings

Capitalize on nostalgia during holidays—Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, etc.—everyone has a favorite holiday that evokes one or more of the five senses. Use your holiday marketing to jog peoples’ memories with creative, dynamic storytelling and accompanying visuals can lead to tying those memories to your current marketing.

Coca-Cola is one brand that used nostalgia marketing masterfully in their campaigns for a number of years (Check out their revival of SURGE). They have mastered nostalgia, especially when paired with holidays. You must have been living under a rock if you don’t think about those cute, cuddly polar bears when you think of Coke and Christmas.

So, when you’re planning your marketing strategy, don’t forget about nostalgia. It’s proving to be that cozy cup of soup from days past that melts through the layers of high-tech noise…umm, umm, good!