The Nostalgia Marketing

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“At the crux of this all lies one simple question – does nostalgia marketing actually work? “

Nostalgia (/nɒˈstaldʒə/) – “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past”. Remember the movies we watched as children or the high school experiences that changed us forever? The reason they matter so much to us is because of the nostalgia around them – the emotions of trust and comfort they invoke within us and the fact that these experiences made us who we are today.

Today, the Millennials are the generation most influenced by nostalgia. A lot of it has to do with the fact that their lot, more than any other generation has been witness to the technology-disruption that has engulfed the world as we see it today. This effectively means they are the first generation to have grown up with technology as well as the last to have functioned without it. For brands, it translates into an extraordinary opportunity to woo these consumers by tapping into the powerful feeling of nostalgia and seamlessly integrating it in their marketing strategy. Here are some brands that are going a pretty good job of it:

Tapping into the much-discussed love for nostalgia, Netflix’s series, Stranger Things is in entirety a running tribute to the yesteryears, with a setting heavily inspired from the 80s. Everything about it, from the polaroid cameras to walkie-talkies and the wall-attached phones, speaks retro. The element of nostalgia has struck a chord not just with millennials reminiscent of their childhood but viewers of all ages simply for transporting them back to a simpler world without technology, where imagination did come alive.

This year, with the advent of season 3 of the series, the makers entered into a new marketing partnership with Coca Cola. After all, what better way to celebrate the 80s than to bring back the infamous “New Coke”! The soft drinks giant announced their plan to promote Stranger Things, Season 3 through a limited edition supply of the drink, more than three decades after its failed run. The creators of the show are doing their bit to promote this unique partnership as well, through a special series trailer that will also serving as a commercial for Coke and will be screened in select movie theatres.

Last year, Nintendo gave unexpected good news to fans by bringing its discontinued mini-console back to life. The company had stopped its mini-console production in 2017 citing the reason as ‘a strategy to stop producing its limited resources’. This didn’t go down well with video game fanatics and hard core Nintendo fans as it was not only one of the most sought after video games, but also very difficult to find.

However, it appears that strong demand for the coveted mini-console induced a change of strategy amongst the top-brass at Nintendo. Alongside, the company also launched its second miniature console and we have a feeling, the return of the mini-console was a clever nostalgia marketing strategy to build enthusiasm and drive sales of the new launch along with the re-introduced product.

At the crux of this all lies one simple question – does nostalgia marketing actually work? Well, people as a collective, are crazy for reflecting and ruminating about the past. No matter what generation you belong to, at some point in your life, you’ve sighed and uttered the words, “when I was younger…” or “in our times..things were different”. So, what do you do when someone brings you a small slice of that life? You feel all warm and fuzzy inside, savour it as you would your favourite old-fashioned chocolate cake and lap it up like there’s no tomorrow.


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