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Nostalgia marketing is a growing trend, just ask my friend Pac-Man.

Last night I had a fantastic debate on Clubhouse with Elizabeth Doss Natasha Vadori-Canini Brandon Wilson where between us we started to look at why nostalgia marketing is becoming so popular.

A recent McDonald’s advert in the UK made by the fantastic team at Leo Burnett UK used a variety of 90s references throughout the campaign. The Netflix series Stranger Things has often been singled out as an ode to the 80s to appeal to our love of that time. One of the biggest songs this summer Bitter Sweet Goodbye by the extremely talented Izzy Cross hit the top 20 as she sampled a 90s Verve and Rolling Stones track. Her modern interpretation and use of the retro sample are fantastic.

Nostalgia marketing works because it evokes feelings.

1.  Emotional resonance: Nostalgia taps into our emotions and memories, creating a sense of comfort and familiarity. When a brand successfully triggers nostalgia, it can make consumers feel warm, happy, and connected to the product or service.

 2. Escapism: Nostalgia can serve as a form of escapism, allowing people to momentarily escape from the stresses and complexities of the present by revisiting simpler or happier times. This emotional escape can be very appealing.

3. Nostalgia as a shared experience: Nostalgia often revolves around cultural references or shared experiences, which can foster a sense of community and belonging. Brands that use nostalgia can create a sense of togetherness among their target audience.

4. Positive associations: Nostalgia often brings back memories of positive experiences and feelings, which can transfer to the brand or product being promoted. Consumers are more likely to have positive associations with a brand that evokes nostalgic emotions.

5.    Trust and authenticity: Nostalgia marketing can convey a sense of tradition and authenticity, which can build trust in the brand. People tend to trust things that have a connection to the past because they perceive them as tried and true.

6.    Attention-grabbing: Nostalgia marketing can stand out in a crowded marketplace because it triggers strong emotional reactions. It can be a way for brands to capture the attention of consumers in a memorable way.

When Lisa Haggar gave me the Pac-Man arcade machine, I was flooded with happy memories of playing this after a Sunday Morning Swim in the 1980s at our local pool. Interestingly my kids also thought it was very cool, yet you can’t even compare the graphics to say a PS5.

Evoking feelings using nostalgia has been done for many years, it works because of its powerful connections.

How can your business use nostalgia marketing to connect with your customers?  I look forward to receiving your faxes with suggestions.