Times are tough; inflation is rife, the winter is cold, and a cruel pandemic has taken away our socialisation, our loved ones and years of our lives. Is there any surprise people are attracted to media that longs for the past? Whether you’re sitting at home watching reruns of Friends, hitting up Blink 182 on their reunion tour or going to the cinema to watch the new Top Gun – the past is firmly in our present.

What does nostalgia culture mean for marketing?

Part of an advertiser or marketer’s job is to observe the latest trends and utilise them to gain consumer interest, even if the latest trends hail from the past. We can see lots of brands responding to the demand for nostalgia culture already, like Adidas, which responded to the sales of vintage apparel by bringing back their old logo and shell-topped trainers.

Remarketing classic products may work well for top brands, but bringing the past into the present day can be more difficult for those just starting out in the market. Also, if not done in the right way, nostalgia marketing can appear tacky rather than classic.

How to use nostalgia in marketing

Nostalgia is a feeling, thus there is no one way to achieve a successful marketing campaign that relies upon it. However, when considering your audience, there are ways to predict what may invoke this feeling.

Trend cycles often complete around every 20 years, which is likely due to people enjoying the things that were on trend when they grew up and replicating that as they become the creators.

When ideas are born out of your personal connection to the ‘good old days’, it creates a truly authentic use of nostalgia. Oftentimes, nostalgia campaigns will build on popularities of the past while making them relevant once again for today.

In this instance, the ideas have worked forward – creators have developed an idea based on their personal feelings, experiences and attachments. This is the best model to use when creating a marketing campaign.

The importance of a diverse team  

If your team is primarily people of the same gender, race and social background, then the capacity for nostalgia is limited. When all of your staff, particularly your senior team, come from the same demographic, it can be much more difficult to market to anyone outside of these parameters.

Lived experience is so important in authentic nostalgia marketing, so a team with different life experiences is essential to create quality material.

Benefits of revisiting the past

The past was dominated by one demographic, leaving so much beauty in marginalised communities unseen and forgotten. The beauty of creating content that revisits the past is that previously oppressed voices can now be heard. Author Toni Morrison is a great example of someone who uses this in her writing, to amplify past voices of black people in America. 

Get in touch for marketing done your way  

Looking to create a nostalgia marketing campaign but don’t know where to begin? Get in contact with a member of the team today and we can help you realise your marketing dreams.