In relation to a recent Sprudge piece, I thought I would reflect a little more on the use of nostalgia in marketing. Creating that feeling of nostalgia through advertising is not new. It’s part of emotional marketing and consumer psychology. Being able to create strong feelings inside the consumer (whether it’s anger or sadness or nostalgia) is one indicator of a successful nostalgia-focused marketing campaign.
Perhaps I’m more attuned to this type of marketing now because I’m in that group of millennials who have more buying power than say, 15 years ago, and am just old enough to feel outdated on trends. Plus, experiencing nostalgia, even for a brief moment, takes me out of the current hot mess of a world.
Not to be confused by fashion trends (no millennial would’ve endorsed the return of patched-up jeans, I hope), nostalgia in marketing has looked like “Stranger Things” the TV show, the ongoing world of Harry Potter and its spin-offs, and anything Star Wars-related from new shows to patterned rugs.
There are many articles out there that cover nostalgic marketing, like this one with 15 ad examples. Multiple studies have also covered this, revealing findings like how study participants who felt nostalgia were willing to pay more for products.
In terms of coffee marketing, nostalgia can be weaved into a number of areas. If you do espresso mixed drinks, name them after a show or character. If you’re putting together marketing material, certain fonts, colors, and phrases could be incorporated. Using popular toys from certain time periods as props in your social media posts is yet another way to add some nostalgia.
One thing to note for all this is that you have to get specific in your marketing and be okay with resonating with only one group of people. You probably shouldn’t use a reference to the 60s if you’re trying to reach millennials. If people resonate with the nostalgia, they’ll resonate hard. But try not to also completely alienate or confuse everyone else that you serve.
And now, please excuse me as I look at the newest Tamagotchi model. I was only able to play with the off-brand one as a kid but now that I can afford the real thing… hm.