What Is Nostalgia Marketing & Why Do Brands Use It For Their Campaigns?

History has always been a source of information about what the future will look like. As a result, nostalgia has always been a powerful force in marketing. Besides, its potency doesn’t seem to be waning.

Aligning marketing with emotions is a proven successful strategy. But tapping fond memories of the past can be a valuable tactic to engage millennials and Gen-Zs. Be it food chains, gaming brands, or anything in between, companies are engaging in retro roots for marketing their products. This blog gives a glimpse of the powerful marketing trend called nostalgia marketing and why brands must use it for curating creative advertisements and campaigns.

What Is Nostalgia Marketing?

Nostalgia marketing is the strategy used by brands to tap into familiar concepts from previous decades to build trust and strengthen modern marketing campaigns. It’s a tactic of associating a brand with something customers already have fond memories of.

Nostalgia Marketing: What’s The Trigger?

Nostalgia marketing makes the target audience more susceptible to feeling emotional about brands. Campaigns based on these emotions can evoke a bond that ties childhood to adulthood through products.

The most effective aspect to harness nostalgic sentimentality is through music. Associations with TV shows and fashion retro also work effectively, as they can help connect with customers who are stimulated by the same.

Why Nostalgia Marketing Works So Well?

Studies state that when people are reminded of instances from the past, they re-experience the emotions tied to the original episodes. It creates a cheer, especially when those memories are refreshing and positive.

These marketing campaigns often revive old slogans, jingles, designs, etc. They bring back familiar products and menu items to recreate cherished moments from pop culture. Nostalgia marketing reminds customers about the memories that made them feel good. As they relive this experience, they are likely to extend feelings of warmth to brands. That’s a win-win for everyone.

Blast From The Past: Example Of Nostalgia Marketing

Fisher-Price, a company popularly known for educational toys, turned to nostalgia marketing to help reverse declining sales. The campaign tries to engage parents by reminding them of the fun times of their youth, playing with classic Fisher-Price toys.

In the commercial, John Goodman dresses like a classic farmer. He then walks through the farm landscape amid memorable toys like the Chatter Phone and a stuffed puppy.

How To Create An Effective Nostalgia Marketing Strategy

Here’s a three-step guide to help brands create an effective nostalgia marketing strategy.

Step 1: Define The Memories That Matter To The Target Audience 

Nostalgia marketing triggers an emotional response. So, if brands identify the correct memory for the target audience groups, they can trigger an emotional response they would want to share with others.

For example, why do you think the Disney Pixar movie “Inside Out” was such a hit? It was all about the emotions of a young girl, and it did a great job of using nostalgia to bring back memories of its audience.

It’s all about finding the right trigger that reminds customers about the past events of their lives. It can be an effective marketing tool that provides an emotional connection to a brand.

Step 2: Look Out For Opportunities To Leverage The Nostalgia

So now you’ve defined the correct memory to trigger your target audiences.

But how and when to use this memory? 

There are a lot of ways to leverage nostalgia. Let’s first look at a few forms of nostalgia marketing:

  • Nostalgic and creative advertisements
  • Nostalgic marketing campaigns
  • Nostalgic packaging and design
  • Rebranding and creative process in advertising
  • Nostalgic products like throwback toys and clothing 
  • Nostalgic events and instances

Did you know?

Recently, the fast food chain Burger King rebranded its logo from the 70’s that successfully giving its customers a whiff of nostalgia and bringing back fond memories.


Another method for nostalgia marketing is releasing a special edition of a product. Many brands reintroduce special edition products that resemble older versions of their brands or have something nostalgic about them. It is an excellent way to get people’s attention and create a buzz.

Step 3: The Social Media Boost

Social media is the lifeblood of nostalgia marketing.

It opens up the opportunity to reach out to a large audience. When creative advertisements get boosted on social media as a part of nostalgia marketing, it brings endless benefits to brands. Therefore every brand must ensure that they use social media to their advantage.

Social media can also help figure out,

  • What does the audience want?
  • What do they need from a brand?
  • What do they expect from a brand?

Social media is essential for nostalgia marketing campaigns as it allows brands to reach out to a targeted audience that shares a common interest in the brand. Social media gives users a sense of socializing rather than just consuming creative advertisements. However, the success and failure of social media endeavors depend on multiple things, such as:

  • How well a brand reaches its audience?
  • What nostalgic instances are they trying to trigger?
  • How convincing the ad copy examples and alternatives are?

Final Thought

Nostalgia marketing works on the current generation of buyers or potential buyers. It is one of the most exciting trends in modern marketing. Nostalgia marketing, with creative advertisements, strikes a chord with millennials that other tactics just don’t.

Ensure you create a timely, relevant, and authentic campaign with a strong emotional hook. After all, Lucky charms have always been delicious to most people. But seeing the blue stars and green clovers from childhood memories may be compelling enough for you to grab the box off the shelf — and that’s brilliant nostalgia marketing that works.

Thank you for Reading!

Feedback is always appreciated! If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions feel free to email me at sam@theaddigest.com

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