Nostalgia Marketing: Hit Right in the Feels

For a while now I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that Stranger Things did so well because it was set in the 80’s. I won’t give my age away but I was a 90’s baby, and obviously never experienced the 80’s at all. Yet somehow I really missed the era, especially after watching Stranger Things. People would be like, “Man I remember in the 1980’s when we had all that hairspray and shoulder pads…” and I’d be like, “Totally! I miss those days!”
  And when H&M rolled out their 80’s esque tops and skirts and tube socks, flocks of young people who had no idea who Alf was flocked to these stores to get that retro, throwback look. (I was one of them, I have no regrets.)
  Why do we miss things we’ve never experienced? Why do I have FOMO for an era that I was about a decade too late for? I think you may already know the answer to this: Marketing.   Yup. It’s marketers again. Making us miss things we have never experienced. The question is: how can we apply this same magic to our businesses?  

Vintage packaging!
Marketing Nostalgia Advertising | Forge Digital Marketing

A prime example of a beauty product I don’t need but inevitably will buy because I want to be a 1950’s pin up girl.
  I just feel like these will get me… cleaner, somehow?

A retro web or app design

    There’s something about vintage-themed websites that make me go this company gets it. Click here for more examples.   (Psst… we can help you design something like this!)  

Cultural References 

Nothing like a golden cultural reference in your advertising copy to get consumers smiling and discussing your advertisement. The issue many face is how old of a cultural reference is too old? How far back before they don’t even know what we’re talking about? Hitting that cultural reference sweet spot isn’t always easy but it’s worth it in the end. Here’s an example of an advertisement that did it right:


This is a homage to Titanic from 1997 – it’s a great year to make a reference because you’ve got a wide audience that will know what you’re talking about. That’s the greatest struggle when it comes to cultural references – you have to know what audience you’re trying to target. That’s it for me folks. Hopefully this gets the creative wheels turning (back… in… time!)

Ha!   Here’s a few more articles to help you tap into current (or past!) events: