When you think back to the “good old days”, you likely have a feeling of contentment or even happiness (and sometimes, a bit of cringing happens when we remember something we said or did when very young). This feeling can be understood as nostalgia, a sentimentality for the past. Not only is nostalgia something almost all of us experiences, but it can also be used for highly creative marketing campaigns. 

Unless you have been off living in the wilderness for the past three years, you have likely heard of Stranger Things, the sci-fi drama television show that is more a celebration of the 1980s than it is anything else. You might be wondering why it is so popular with viewers – the key ingredient to this television phenomenon is nostalgia. 

Nostalgia can be used in a digital marketing campaign to elicit an emotional response from your audience. However, it is important that nostalgia is done right in your campaigns, and that you do not bring up bad memories from certain eras. Below is some handy advice on how to use nostalgia in your marketing campaigns. 


What Is Your Inspiration For The Campaign?


Before you go off and redesign your product to reflect your favourite era for your next marketing campaign, you will need to stop and think why you are choosing nostalgia for this particular campaign. Do you feel that there is a demand for an old product or service you used to offer, or are you celebrating a company milestone?

If consumers are demanding a past product or service, marketing this with its original branding and packaging will bring about feelings of nostalgia and will encourage your audience to purchase the product or service. Refreshing your brand using vintage or retro imagery can also help you to reach a new audience, but be sure that nostalgia resonates with your brand. Without proper guidance and inspiration, your marketing campaign could fall flat. 


In With The Old…


…and out with the new. If you have products that were sold years ago in different packaging, and want to use nostalgia to bring them back into popularity, you can repackage these products in their old packaging. It is important to remember that we live in a digital age, and so your “new old” products should cater for this too. 

Transforming something that people see as “outdated” into a modern marketing tool can be tricky, but it is not an impossible feat. For example, if you make use of printed marketing material such as catalogues or flyers, rather than simply handing them out at traffic lights, ask related businesses if you can leave some on their waiting tables. Your consumers will see your marketing materials there and are more likely to read it. 


Consider Current Times


Nostalgia might be effective at encouraging customers to engage with your brand, but be sure that the engagement is positive. Some eras can bring back negative rather than positive connotations, such as the highly sexist advertisements of the 1940s and 1950s. You should rather focus on an era that has positive connotations for everybody. 

You will also need to consider the product, service, and campaign itself. Is there language being used that might be considered harmful or offensive? If so, you may need to reconsider this language. The cultural climate of today is one where problematic language and visuals are called out, and for good reason, but this could be detrimental to your marketing campaign. Think about who your audience is and if the era you are using will resonate with them or not. 


Always Innovate


While nostalgia does mean a harkening back to old days, you should always look at innovating in your marketing campaign. Think about how it can be integrated into today’s market in a way that modern audiences can relate to. For example, you could use social media’s #ThrowBackThursday hashtag to gain visibility and to encourage the younger generation to interact with your brand. 

If you are going to be using old footage of an advertisement for your products, you could update it and refresh it using digital techniques and use a remix of the original music. This will still hit the nostalgia notes but will appeal to a wider audience. Updating original content is also a cost-effective method of marketing, as you already have access to the visuals and audio files. 

Getting nostalgia right in your marketing campaigns might sound difficult but it can be achieved with some creative thinking and being aware of the current times and the audience you wish to reach. If you would like to inject some innovation into your next marketing campaign, contact NetMechanic today to find out how we can help you.