Nostalgia Marketing is The New Trend All Marketers are Embracing

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Nostalgia Marketing: The New Trend Marketers are Embracing

Nostalgia marketing can be defined as a marketing strategy that banks upon the memories of the past, and increases potential consumers by connecting with target customers on an emotional basis. It also evokes a feeling of humbleness, simplicity, association, and loyalty. This MarketingWit post talks about this new emerging trend which many marketers are adopting.

“It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of the past while we wait for our futures.”
― Ally Condie, Matched

How about adding a tad bit of emotion to your advertisement? If yes, marketers are using nostalgia today, to bank upon the emotions of consumers. Admit it, we all go through that teeny moment of feeling emotional when we come across a product that we used in our childhood days. The old huge desktop computers are a reminder of our school days.

The Ads that are abuzz today are full of sentimental value. They whisk you away to the past, and add an appeal of the old rustic feeling, bringing back the happy memories of childhood. We all love to drool in the past that strongly brings back cherished memories. Your old school photographs, marriage, and family pictures, tend to make you feel nostalgic. Especially during the ’90s, things were much more simple, with less competition than today. Yes, we want gadgets with the latest technology, devices that are user-friendly, portable, and hassle-free. Yet, somewhere in our hearts, we do miss those products that definitely had a longer shelf life than today’s times, wherein most products now are ‘use and throw’. Even all the super tech games of today cannot reduce the charm and appeal of the game ‘Mario’. We emotionally bond with the product, see it evolve and change, yet, when we see the old advertisement, something strangely appeals to our heart. This sentiment is exactly exploited by nostalgic marketing, so as to increase the consumer base by charming and luring them into the past.

Banking on this new nostalgia trend, consumers get to resonate their inner child, and also capture human emotion.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Nostalgia Marketing

Vehicle dealer showing car

► ‘Retro’ and ‘Vintage’ is the new cool these days.
► It evokes a feeling of happy memories in your heart.
► Consumers are enticed to continue their brand loyalty following their long association with the brand.
► As we grow old, our need to reconnect with the past youthful life increases, and when any Ad campaign reminds us of any product that was popular during those times, it immediately impacts our minds as consumers, and entices us to buy it.
► The older the brand, higher is the chance of it having an emotional appeal. ‘Classic’ never goes out of fashion.

► A major disadvantage can be, when the marketing strategy fails to make an impact if the message is not appropriately delivered. Hence, this strategy is a huge risk, considering that it may fail to work.
► Also, if the past records of the company’s performance have not been up to the mark, this marketing tool will not work on the minds of the consumers.
► Over-dosage of emotional content might tick off some consumers, and instead of connecting with the brand, they might feel that the advertisement is overtly done, or fake.

Examples of Successful Nostalgia Marketing


Playstation 4

The PS4 Ad shows how they progressed over the years, depicting how, with the change in technology, the teenage boys grew up and their tastes are reflected on their bedroom. Now, this emotionally-packed advertisement certainly left many viewers teary-eyed, as the PlayStation has been an integral part of the childhood days of many.


Nickelodeon on sunset

This cartoon channel made an extremely smart use of nostalgia marketing through their show ‘The ’90s Are All That’. This programming block debuted on July 25, 2011, and it shows the classic Nickelodeon shows of the 1990s. Now, that is a feast for us who would love to revisit some of our childhood days by watching the show. Viewers of the channel definitely increased through this smart move.

Old Navy

Old navy store

This popular clothing and accessories brand has been using the past to emotionally connect with the audience, and in 2012, they incorporated the 1990s’ hit band ‘Backstreet Boys’ in a bid to increase their target consumer base. A revival of the ’90s certainly evoked a positive response among consumers.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer

Windows 8 start screen

“You grew up. So did we.” Now isn’t that an effective tagline? Microsoft simply took the viewers down memory lane to recollect how they developed over these years. Internet Explorer may have strong competitors today, but some time ago, we all have used it in our childhood. And bingo, the Ad did work wonders on the sentiments of consumers, enough to increase their sales.

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