The Good Old Days... and Marketing

October 21, 2014

Most people agree that nostalgia is truly a unique feeling – a bittersweet combination of serenity and sadness that can be strangely comforting.  It can be easily trigger by even the minutest of details - a certain texture, a familiar scent in the air, or a long-forgotten melody that brings back past memories. In an instant, we are transported to a different time and place that, seen though the rosy veil of nostalgia always appears infinitely better than the gloomy present.

Even though nostalgia is often associated with longing and sadness, it is proven to have a positive effect on the mood. For most people, remembering better times is comforting and even therapeutic even. Nostalgia serves as an antidote to the fast-paced, routine-filled modern times. This is why it comes as no surprise that so many companies are using nostalgia as a marketing trick. If a marketing campaign gets an emotional response from the viewers it means it has done its job. After seeing an ad that makes us feel nostalgic, we are more likely to associate the advertised product with pleasant feelings and as a result, be more inclined to purchase it. Here, we bring you three easy ways to incorporate nostalgia in marketing.

Old products reinvented

The easiest way to implement nostalgia in marketing is to bring back an old product and add a modern twist to it. People generally associate the past with a happier, simpler lifestyle. This is the reason why so many world-famous brands are now reinventing old discontinued products by modernizing their appearance through marketing campaigns. The market today is saturated with sleek modern products that work great, but whose design is often criticized for being too “cold”. This is where mixing the old with the new can work wonders, as it combines the best of both worlds - the high standard of modern production with familiar warm imagery reminiscent of the past.

The power of childhood memories

Regardless of our age, profession, cultural background, or social status, remembering one’s childhood is the universal recipe for nostalgia. Virtually every adult looks back on their younger days as the happiest, most carefree period of their life. This is why so many marketing experts try to generate symbolic representations of childhood in their campaigns. Companies ranging from soft drink giants to car manufacturers all have ads that feature children and heart-warming scenes of family life, as these images have the power to create strong mental response, leaving people with feelings of warmth and security.

 That familiar tune

It has happened to all of us – a well-known melody starts playing on the radio and we feel as if we are magically being taken to some special time and place of our past. Many contemporary musicians are bringing back once popular genres of music and capitalizing on the growing popularity of everything retro. The emotional appeal of old classics is undeniable, and no one knows this better than advertisers. Incorporating oldies into video campaign is an effective way to evoke feelings of nostalgia, grab people’s attention and get them to connect the product in the ad with the “good old days”.

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