Why is Nostalgia an Effective Marketing Tactic?

Next weekend, about a third of our nation will be doing the same thing: watching the Pepsi Super Bowl.

Of that third, a vocal minority will flood your social media to say “just here for the halftime show.”

This year, while I am certainly focused on the game, I am wholeheartedly on team #PepsiHalftimeShow.

Why? Because a little nostalgia marketing worked on me.

In late January, Pepsi released a trailer (clever, by the way) to announce this year’s halftime performers. As I scrolled through Facebook, it popped up over and over, so I gave it a click.

Within 10 seconds, I was transported back to high school, when Eminem ruled pop culture. Another 30 seconds and I was in my freshman year of college dorm room pulling out the new Dr. Dre CD and listening to it while dreaming of the guy (from my high school who I listed to Eminem with, no less) who lived one floor above me. Once a full minute in, there I was back at softball practice with my girls, blasting Mary J. Blige, Alanis Morrisette and Missy Elliott while trying not to cramp during wall sits. And finally, as the trailer closed, I thought about turning 16 and driving around with my friends, blasting California Love.

(If you haven’t already guessed, this is the trailer I watched. Well played, Pepsi!)

And that, my friends, is nostalgia marketing. Effective use of nostalgia in marketing communications is not about making you simply think about something; it is about making you feel something. It connects a brand – in your mind – to a time, place or emotion that elicits feelings of safety or happiness.

Nostalgia marketing is also among the most successful means a brand can use to increase visibility but also inspire unpaid shares, clicks and organic conversation. It helps a brand cut through the clutter.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at these if you are of a certain age and tell me they don’t make you feel something special.

For more expert insight on marketing communications, reach out anytime.

Written by
at Feb 1, 2022

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