Let’s face it. When you’re going through your day, and you hear an old song, or you smell apple pie baking or watch a commercial that throws you back to the days of Pac-Man and a much simpler time, that is a great feeling. So, of course, the idea of nostalgia in marketing is brilliant.
Any stimulus that we mentioned above works under normal circumstances. If you add what we have been going through globally in recent times (including the pandemic and all its repercussions) it has been noted that in times of high stress, going back to the feeling of a simpler, happier time is a homerun.
Using nostalgia in marketing will take your intended audience to their happy place. We aren’t merely suggesting that you throw in some generational jargon randomly. We’re talking about creating some targeted, heartfelt nostalgia in marketing so that your audience can connect with the product or service and associate it with good times.
People buy a product for the promise that it can lead to the accomplishment of a bigger goal. For example, people buy clothes for the promise of looking good and possibly finding a mate or popularity, but not necessarily because they need a pair of jeans.
Nostalgia in marketing offers a chance of actually elevating the mental state of your targeted market, as well as selling your product or service. This is a definite win-win.
A Quick Marketing Lesson
Do you remember the Gap Khakis campaign back in the 1990s? Their target audience was teenagers, the youngest generation that had spending money.
For marketing purposes, any person born in the last sixty years are assigned to one of three groups, these are:
Baby boomers: Born 1946-1964
Generation X: Born 1965-1980
Generation Y (AKA Millennials or Echo Baby Boomers): Born 1981-1996
Now that you know that Generation Y and baby boomers have a lot in common and share similar values. The Gap, in their campaign marketing efforts, was brilliant. They blurred some lines and put music that appealed to young Generation Y who would have been in their teens in the late 1990s and are a carbon copy of their baby boomer parents. The campaign was successful! The commercials have even won awards and the attention of celebrities. So to all marketers, if you use the correct type of nostalgia in marketing, you can appeal to all three generations!
For your viewing pleasure, here are some of the commercials from the Gap marketing campaign.
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