Nostalgia Marketing: An Emotional Bridge Between Brand And Customer

Learn tactics to nail nostalgia marketing!

Have you ever noticed yourself smiling nostalgically while doing something? Imagine you’re strolling along a crowded street when a wave of nostalgia strikes you like a breeze on a windy day. You’re instantly taken to a time in the past when everything appears to be better and happier. A nostalgic attachment for that moment grows within you until all you can do is crave that bubble of memories.Having said that, nostalgia marketing is taking the business world by storm. Millennials and Gen-Z are longing for the past, and brands are taking them on a journey through time.

What is Nostalgia Marketing?

Nostalgia marketing is a marketing tactic businesses use to evoke positive sentiments about the past for the audience. This marketing tool produces familiar concepts, ideas, events, or figures from past decades.

However, businesses require the right blend of strategy and concept to pursue nostalgia marketing. The tactic is to associate loyal customers with happy experiences. Brands are tapping positive ideas from previous marketing strategies to re-energize present campaigns. This new marketing tactic has gained popularity recently. It has been employed by businesses of various sizes and sectors, from Netflix to McDonald’s.

Why Brands Are Using Nostalgia Marketing?

Building social connections through nostalgia is an easy method for businesses. Positive references from the 1990s, 1980s, and even the 1970s can be used to connect brand messages with the past and present in a meaningful way.

There are some significant advantages that nostalgia-focused strategies can bring to 21st-century marketing. It also comes with a risk for the brands. We have seen many established brands play with this type of marketing, e.g., Coca-Cola, Motorola, Walmart etc. 

The ideal fusion of the past and present, “Pokémon GO” connects a well-known tale with the first application of augmented reality in everyday life. Many people find that playing the game satisfies two requirements: exploring something new and intriguing while feeling happy.

Nostalgia-centric marketing succeeds when brands know the pulse of modern culture. The brands should see consumer behavior. Once the desired data is collected, it is time to plug those ideas into marketing campaigns.

This new marketing strategy paves the way for the brands only if the brands know the present culture and its consumer behavior. It applies to any industry. 

Nostalgia Marketing: Notable Examples

Let’s review the list of the most notable “throwback” commercials for the last few years.

Motorola Razr: Re-Invention of ‘Razr’ series

Before the smartphone revolution, Motorola was a well-known market leader in the industry. In the early 2000s, it had small, flat flip phones called the ‘Razr.’ Despite having a QWERTY keyboard and a small screen, people praised its elegance and simplicity.

In 2019, when Motorola reintroduced its Razr, it generated attention since it had a folding touchscreen.

Motorola, in its new commercial, employed nostalgia marketing techniques. In the ad, the brand displayed that the old model starts to fade off to reveal a new design. As the device lifts off the table and flies in the air, it changes into a new one. The phone then opens to reveal the touch screen that looks like an Android. 

Source: CNN

Coca-Cola’s Surge.

Coca-cola tapped into nostalgia by reintroducing the well-liked beverage Surge. Everyone raced to buy the beverage since it reminded them of their past and allowed them to reminisce.

(Surge Movement, Facebook)

Benefits of Nostalgia Marketing

Using nostalgia marketing helps engage customers and touch them emotionally so the brand can establish a strong bond with them.

Bringing all Generations Together

Because nostalgia employs broad, all-encompassing themes, it creates a cross-generational appeal that can influence customers of all ages. The beauty of nostalgia is that it can create a collective experience of joy. All generations literally rejoice over elements of the past.


Various brands have approached nostalgia by enlisting past campaigns to influence present day ones. Using pre-existing content from the past reduces costs because no new content has been produced.

How Can Businesses Use Nostalgia Marketing?

Brands must carry out research

Work on consumer behaviors to identify the age of its target audience and what matters to them.

For example, if you’re aiming for Millennials, you may draw influence from the ’90s or early 2000s.

Eye for detail

When attempting to recreate a particular era, it is crucial to correct the details. Every detail matters, e.g., music, colors, images etc. 

For example, you cannot apply the Papyrus typeface over the backdrop of a 1960s-inspired advertisement.

Be creative

You may not be able to license the usage of certain shows, characters, or companies from the past. But, you may include elements from that era into your marketing efforts to recreate the look and feel without going overboard.

Draw inspiration from your company’s background

Every brand has a unique story. Perhaps, your company originated in a garage or as a pop-up shop. Consider adding your own brand’s narrative to your nostalgia marketing plan.

Is Nostalgia Important in Marketing?

Yes, gaining and building trust for new ideas is vital as re-energizing present campaigns.

The past few years have been dominated by masks, social distancing and working from home. People felt burnt out and have been looking for classic entertainment alternatives. There was nothing much to do while stuck at home. They wanted to reminisce and cherish pleasant memories from decades before. According to a recent report, more than half of consumers find solace in classic TV series and music from their youth.

For years, nostalgia may aid with boredom, loneliness, and anxiety. It can even help people cope with significant life changes and stressful situations.

It is crucial because individuals seek solace in nostalgia.

Nostalgia Marketing: Worth The Try?

Linking positive memories with your business may help you develop lasting emotional vibes. Whether marketing to Gen Z or Millennials, nostalgia walks you down memory lane. Understanding what inspires your viewers, how they were raised, and knowing their passion is key to capturing nostalgia. Keep your company principles in mind and leverage nostalgia in engaging, natural ways.

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