Nostalgia Marketing: what it is, how to do it, and examples of success

What is Nostalgia Marketing? Very simple! Nostalgic Marketing is a strategy adopted by brands to create an emotional connection, by recalling specific memories or events from the past, with a new product on the market.

Still not clear to you? Let me give you a practical example! Are you currently engrossed in watching a new Star Wars movie, or out trying to catch the world’s most famous creatures with Pokémon Go?

Congratulations! You’ve just become a victim of this incredible digital marketing strategy!

By the way, if you’re interested in discovering all the secrets of digital marketing and transitioning from being a “victim” of a strategy to being its creator, I suggest taking the Digital Marketing Certification Course and Digital Strategy Course by Digital Coach!

By following this course, you’ll learn how all marketing tools and channels work to define an efficient strategy. You’ll also learn how to monitor the results of the digital strategy to become the focal point of corporate communication, both online and offline.

Back to Nostalgic Marketing, in this short guide, I’ll tell you in detail:

  • What is the definition of nostalgia marketing or retro marketing?
  • Some examples of Nostalgia Marketing.
  • How to best use this strategy to create an excellent advertising campaign?

Let’s get started!

What Nostalgia is Marketing and its advantages

Nostalgic Marketing is a digital strategy adopted by brands to evoke memories or specific periods from the past to promote a product or service. It is adapted to create an emotional bond between the consumer and the new product on the market.

nostalgia marketing examples

The advantages associated with this marketing strategy can certainly include the fact that, by recalling certain historical years or a defined period, an emotional connection associated with memories can be created for the end consumer.

Perhaps by revisiting a product from that era in a modern way, this strategy adds a contemporary touch to evoke nostalgic sentiments.

This will lead them, reminiscent of a memory associated with a happy past, to purchase the product featured in the campaign and could even create a strong emotional bond with the brand sponsoring that product!

Why is it considered a very effective strategy? Quite simply because nostalgia is a powerful feeling in humans, allowing for engagement to be created for both the new generation defined as “Millennials.”

This is through curiosity derived from seeing images of an era they did not experience but is represented as one of the best periods for humanity.

Additionally, it creates engagement for the generation defined as “X,” who lived through that era, evoking memories of their youth.

 

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Examples of Nostalgia Marketing

I could give you numerous examples of nostalgia marketing, as this strategy is used by any brand to evoke happy times from the past for future sales goals, exploiting consumer nostalgia.

Here are three examples in three different categories.

Nintendo

If there’s someone who has truly used “nostalgia advertising” to its fullest, it’s certainly Nintendo.

The Japanese company, with a long and respectable history, has often played the nostalgia card in its digital marketing strategies to sell new products.

A case in point is the release of the NES Classic Mini console, which harks back to the historic NES console that made history in the video game industry in the ’80s and ’90s.

But it doesn’t end there. Nintendo has demonstrated over time its ability to “play” with people’s feelings of nostalgia by designing new video games based on the memory effect.

nintendo advertising

An example in this regard is Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu, which recalls one of the brand’s most famous and historical games, Pokémon Yellow, remade in a modern key, combining the beloved story with the technological graphics of modern times.

But the most important proof of how much Nintendo values the nostalgia effect is evident in Pokémon Go.

The game brought together old and new generations, turning real streets into a quest for the world’s most famous monsters through modern augmented reality technology.

It realized the dream of feeling like a true trainer, as the X generation has always envisioned since childhood.

Gucci

If there is someone truly expert in emotional marketing in the fashion industry, it can only be the Gucci brand.

This fashion house has often employed the nostalgia marketing strategy, and the most famous case is undoubtedly the #ForeverGuilty campaign. 

This immerses you in an American setting from the ’70s to the ’90s, letting you experience the iconic places of America during those years.

Both the “Millennials” and “X” generations liked this idea because it reminded them of a time when they were younger.

Over the years, the brand has played so often with this digital marketing strategy that it almost earned the specialized designation of “Gucci emotional marketing” for its campaigns.

Fiat

The last example, but not least in importance, has to be Fiat.

The automotive sector, in general, has always used nostalgia marketing as a sales strategy, often reintroducing modern versions of its best-selling and famous models.

This can be seen in the case of the Volkswagen New Beetle (which recalls the Beetle, one of the most famous and beloved cars in the world), and the Mini, among others.

The most famous case, however, is certainly the commercial that reimagines the new 500 in a modern context.

This television spot evokes iconic images of history and beyond, creating a sense of belonging to a brand and a model of a car reimagined in a modern context.

Now that I have provided you with some examples to draw inspiration from, I will give you useful advice on how to use retro marketing most effectively.

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How to do Nostalgia Marketing

If you’re wondering how to create a successful Nostalgia Marketing strategy, carefully read this section of the article!

I will start by telling you that for a good Nostalgia Marketing strategy, it’s necessary to re-present, through a process of storytelling that develops and reshapes with a modern interpretation, scenes from the past.

This is done to evoke happy memories and create an emotional connection between your brand and the end consumer.

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Always remember three fundamental things:

  • Identify the right moment to use this strategy: remember that this strategy can be used for product relaunch, in remakes, or even to give a new image to the brand tied to its history or simply to celebrate a new milestone or anniversary.
  • Identify your audience’s target: when talking about identifying your audience’s target, it refers to the process of defining a group of people to whom to address a product or service, generally dividing it by specific attitudes, such as age or customs.
  • Identify where to develop your strategy: the choice of the place to activate an advertising campaign based on the nostalgia effect is crucial. The ideal place? Probably social media, which already adopted this strategy to remind the user of an anniversary or an event from years ago. Social media is also seen as the ideal place because it allows sharing, is useful for the development of a campaign, taking into account possible impressions, and is also useful for creating, over time, a nostalgic effect for those interested.

Conclusion and strategic advice

Nostalgia Marketing is truly one of the most used and interesting strategies in the advertising landscape, and it’s excellent for leveraging the curiosity of “Millennials”  and the nostalgia of Generation “X” to your advantage.

The important thing is always to know how to manage the nostalgia effect by combining it with the needs of the modern consumer.

Still, have doubts about how to maximize the potential of this fantastic strategy? Request a free consultation!

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