Taking Comfort in the Past: Nostalgia in Advertising

Tough times can trigger a longing for simpler, happier times. Why not? Replacing anxieties about job security and the future with positive feelings from days gone by provide an assurance that many people need today. Those sentiments have found their way into recent marketing campaigns. Whether it be something subtle like Pepsico rolling out limited edition retro packaging for Pepsi and Mtn Dew, or a stronger connection to the past through use of an old ad slogan such as Diet Coke's "Just for the taste of it," many ad campaigns today are trying to reach consumers through familiar messages of bygone days.

Is the trend toward nostalgic advertising a gimmick that shows little imagination by advertisers, or is it just what the country needs at this time? Probably neither, but eliciting nostalgic feelings in consumers is a way to engage us comfortably. It is a time in which marketers are unsure exactly what to say. Instilling confidence through familiar, well liked messages is a strategy for maintaining a strong brand presence with consumers. Riding out tough times with customers now could lead to payoffs when better economic conditions return.

Link: The New York Times - "Warm and Fuzzy Makes a Comeback"