Most of you probably skip the ads that run during your favorite TV show or while streaming videos on YouTube. While ads can be an annoying experience, they remain evidence of creative content-making. Case in point, the Superbowl. 


The singular game of the year that determines the new NFL champion is perhaps the only one out of 365 days where viewers stay glued to the commercials. Companies pull out all the stops to take advantage of the most-watched event of the year. 


And if you’ve seen the ads, you would’ve had first-hand experience of one of marketing’s most effective tools of the trade – Nostalgia Marketing. 


What Is Nostalgia Marketing?


Nostalgia Marketing is a marketing strategy whereby the messaging of the content associates the brand with feelings of great sentimental value that trigger memories and emotions of comfort and security. 


In other words, “the feels”.


A study conducted by the College of Business and Economics at Washington State University showed nostalgic ads were rated higher and more positively than non-nostalgic ads. 


Another study on Nostalgia Marketing, this time by Grenoble School of Management, revealed that consumers were willing to spend more money on products that were promoted with nostalgia as the main theme. 


The 5 Benefits Of Nostalgia Marketing For Your Business


The study by Grenoble School of Management is groundbreaking because the findings explain why Nostalgia Marketing works:


Memories are priceless. 


Here are the 5 benefits of Nostalgia Marketing and why your business should consider it:


  1. Associate your brand with positive feelings.
  2. Trigger happy memories that will compel your audience to buy.
  3. Help uplift the attitudes of people who are experiencing negative emotions or are currently undergoing unfortunate situations. 
  4. Re-connect your audience to pop culture; icons, music, fashion, events, and concepts that are reminders of their past. 
  5. Foster personalized relationships with your customers and followers.


Consumers will patronize a product that evokes warm feelings of happiness and comfort; of good times and wonderful memories even if there are affordable choices in the market. 


Examples Of Nostalgia Marketing


Fast food brands like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and KFC are well-known for their approaches to Nostalgia Marketing. 


The ads will focus on common gatherings with families and friends – a birthday party, the first date, celebrating a big win in baseball, blowing out the first paycheck, the first time dining at the restaurant with Grandpa. 


Coca-Cola might as well trademark Christmas. 


Everyone looks out for the new Coca-Cola Christmas ad. The beverage giant has become so associated with the Yuletide season that it’s hard not to think of Christmas whenever you see the iconic bottle any day of the year. 


Likewise, your favorite series and movies on Netflix have capitalized on Nostalgia Marketing. 


Have you noticed how 80s music has been featured prominently in the streaming service’s biggest hits – “Stranger Things”, “Cobra Kai”, “Metal Lords”, and every Adam Sandler movie? 


Why? Because 80s music caters to Generation X – the ones who saved up money after years of grinding it out as an employee or as an entrepreneur. Generation X is fast approaching retirement age and is spending more time relaxing, going on vacations, and yes – watching Netflix.


Nostalgia Marketing has also benefited the 80s musicians who agreed to have their music featured in these Netflix shows because it opened their songs to a whole new generation of listeners. 


Recently, you might have noticed restaurants putting out ads that promote their drive-in and delivery services. Why? These businesses understand that the COVID-19 pandemic changed how consumers lived their lives long after the lockdowns were lifted. 


A 2022 report by Square revealed that 50% of restaurants plan to offer services as a result of the pandemic and that close to 70% of their customers prefer to order from their websites instead of dining in. 


Thus, even if the threat has been somewhat controlled, more consumers have adapted to the drive-through and delivery lifestyle. These services have become part of their lives – their memories – in the last 2 years.

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How To Run A Nostalgia Marketing Campaign For Your Business

If we’ve convinced you to give Nostalgia Marketing a try, here are a few simple steps to get you started. 

1. Create an Audience Profile

The first step in launching a Nostalgia Marketing campaign is to identify who you’re targeting for your content. Otherwise, the message won’t be accurately delivered to the intended recipient. 

The best way to identify your target market is to create an audience profile that summarizes the key traits, qualities, and factors that describe your typical customer or follower such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income Level
  • Geographic Location
  • Status
  • Educational Attainment
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Favorite Movies and TV shows
  • Favorite Music Genre
  • Favorite Food
  • Favorite Beverage

Generally, the more points of information you get the more complete and accurate your audience profile. A comprehensive audience profile will make it easier for you to reference experiences and events that will trigger favorable responses. 

2. Reminisce About Your Past

In order to establish a strong, long-lasting relationship with your customers, you have to find personal experiences, feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes, events, and references that they can relate to. 

After all, you are your brand. How your business brand is perceived by your market is a reflection of how your market perceives you – the person behind the business.

Reminisce about your past. Which memories trigger pleasant, happy, and comfortable feelings? Are there ads you can’t forget? These ads are called “the classics” because their relevance to generations of consumers has stood the test of time. 

Search for these ads on the Internet; maybe someone uploaded the ads on YouTube, play them and see if you still get the feels. Then, review your audience profile. 

Do you believe your audience will react positively to similar marketing content? If “yes”, then use the ad as one of your references for your Nostalgia Marketing concept.

3. Identify Generational Milestones

You could be from Generation X but your business offers products and services that cater to Generation Z. There’s easily a 20-year age gap between both generations. 

If you’re the parent of Generation Z children otherwise known as “zoomers”, then it won’t be a problem identifying generational milestones. 

Generational milestones are events, people, music, fashion, and other mementos that helped shape or define a specific generation. For example, the 90s were associated with “Nickelodeon”, “The Mickey Mouse Club”, “Furbies”, “McDonald’s Supersized Meals”, the sitcom “Friends”, and “Harry Potter”.

Let’s say you own and operate a workspace facility where entrepreneurs can rent a table or a small room where they can work and hold meetings for a small monthly fee. 

You can recreate the “Friends” intro – perhaps change the opening music a bit to avoid copyright infringement – but this time, show a team of happy people collaborating on a project. 

Don’t forget the coffee! 

Surely this ad concept will bring a smile to the faces of consumers who grew up and spent nights watching the misadventures of “Chandler”, “Ross”, “Monica”, “Phoebe”, “Joey”, and “Rachel”. 

Whenever they see your products online or on the shelves, they’ll recall the ad. And vice-versa when they watch “Friends” reruns on TV. 

4. Share the History of Your Business

If you’ve been in business for more than 10 years, chances are you’ve amassed a large customer base to survive this long. Entice your longtime customers to buy again by reminding them of how you started out.

For example, you own a bakeshop that made its name from its spice pumpkin cupcakes with vanilla cream frosting. As you grew, you expanded your product line to include a wide selection of wonderful cupcakes. 

But your customers still remember you for that spice pumpkin cupcake! 

Gather old photos or videos of your bakeshop over the years. Include images of parties that took place, customers who left your store with smiles on their faces, “thank you” notes, and other appreciative mementos left by patrons. 

You can make a video or a collage of images that you can share on social media or run in your bakeshop. Trust us, your longtime customers will start ringing up your cash register. They’ll bring in their kids so they can discover what your cupcakes are all about. 

And speaking of social media…

5. Maximize the Reach of Social Media

Social media has become part of daily life for close to 5 billion people in the world. On average, a person is on social media for 2 hours and 27 minutes per day. That’s not time spent in one sitting. 

People routinely check their social media feed for new posts, and messages, and find out what their community is doing. They also update their status and engage with various communities, businesses, and special interest pages.

If you don’t have a social media page for your business, start one now. Social media is an effective way of marketing and promoting a business. It will be one of the best channels to drive your Nostalgia Marketing campaign. 

Here are some content ideas and strategies you can use to run your Nostalgia Marketing campaign on social media:

  • Create a video of your longtime customers sharing their favorite memories about your business. Upload the video on your YouTube channel, share it on Facebook and Twitter, and embed the link on the homepage of your website. 

  • Update your status by inviting your longtime customers to share their experiences with your products and services on Facebook. Give a special prize to customers who share pictures of themselves with your products. 

  • Post an iconic photo about your business and add a throwback hashtag such as #MondayMemoryLane, #TBTuesday, #ThrowBackThursday, and #FlashbackFriday.

  • Invite your followers to join a game of trivia pursuit where the participants get to answer a series of questions about your business’s past. Winners get prizes such as free products or subscriptions.


Nostalgia Marketing is a fun way of getting more people interested in your business. Many customers view businesses only as establishments that sell products and services for profit and not as entities that have a history.

It can be an effective strategy for getting your old customers to re-purchase while at the same time, signing up new customers who are just learning about your business. 

At times when people need something to cheer or smile about, Nostalgia Marketing could just be what the doctor ordered. 

Are you interested in launching a Nostalgia Marketing campaign for your business? Hit us up via phone call or email and let’s book a time to get you started. 

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