Nostalgia is a sentimental yearning or longing fondness for the past. Advertisers can provoke audiences with a sentimentality for the past by incorporating nostalgia into their ads and campaigns. But how exactly do you use nostalgia in advertising and how does it benefit you or the consumer? We’ll break that down in the guide.

Let’s take things a step back and explain how to effectively use nostalgia in your advertising.

Nostalgia marketing: a passion for the past

Nostalgia marketing is actually a thing – and it works pretty well. Surprisingly, it works really well with younger audiences who haven’t even lived long enough to make much room for nostalgia. But thanks to movies and TV, younger audiences have been able to experience periods from the past and still have space for nostalgia. Just take a look at the recent splurge in the popularity of vintage clothing and think about just how many reboots and remakes of popular films from the past there have been in recent years. Additionally, check out Muse by Clio for some examples of nostalgic marketing campaigns from the past.

If you’re wondering what nostalgia marketing is, it’s a marketing strategy whereby advertisers aim to evoke feelings of nostalgia in their advertising. This is effective because nostalgia reminds people of not only times of the past but also better times, and reminding them of these times can allow them to stay connected. We’ll explain in more detail how you can use nostalgia effectively in your marketing.

Determine what memories your audience cherishes most

You can win over audiences with nostalgia but you have to win them over with a memory or past moment that they can relate to or connect with. You should know your target audience and existing customers relatively well, so knowing what memories they’re fond of should be pretty simple. You need to capture their attention and nostalgia by featuring memorable moments of the past in your campaign.

For example, if you’re an English brand in the football industry, you could evoke nostalgia by incorporating historical moments from memorable footballing events of the past or by featuring an iconic player from the 90s in your next advertising campaign. If you can pinpoint the right memories, you could make someone feel satisfied, connected and even motivated to nurture and engage with your brand.

Know what people liked and not just what they like

Brands change things all time – for better or for worse. Whether that be their packaging, their prices, their logos or their product lines, not everything stays the same with most brands. Sometimes changes don’t sit well with consumers and they demand them back – or perhaps some consumers miss old things about a brand – take their packaging for example. Countless brands have brought back old packaging for a limited time to spark nostalgia for their customers.

Burger King brought back its original logo in 2021 and Cadbury has re-released several of its classic chocolate products with nostalgic wrapping inspired by its original bars, for example. Find out what your audience liked about products and bring them back with a sense of nostalgia.