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Nostalgia Marketing Guide social media
Sandra Figueiredo5/9/23 11:06 AM4 min read

Nostalgia Marketing: A Guide to Connecting with Customers

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion that can transport us back to a simpler time and evoke feelings of happiness and comfort. That's why nostalgia marketing has become a popular strategy for brands looking to connect with consumers on an emotional level.


What is Nostalgia Marketing?

At its core, nostalgia marketing is about creating an emotional connection between a brand and its audience. It's a marketing tactic that taps into memories that make us feel nostalgic and uses those emotions to sell.

Think about it - have you ever heard a song and suddenly found yourself transported back to a specific moment? Or maybe you came across a childhood toy in your parent's attic and immediately went down memory lane. These moments are powerful because they connect us to a specific time and place in our past.

Brands that use nostalgia marketing understand this emotional connection and use it to their advantage. By evoking these feelings of nostalgia, they can create a sense of comfort with their products or services.


Why does Nostalgia Marketing work so well with Millennials?

According to Mintel, consumers aged 25-44 said they enjoy things that remind them of their past. 

Many consumers relish experiences that transport them back to their previous decades. This sentiment is especially true for the millennial generation, who grew up during rapid technological change and social upheaval.

Millennials were the first to grow up with the internet and social media in the early 2000s. Because of this, they were exposed to a wealth of new experiences and trends. This has created a unique set of positive associations with the past that only 90s kids can truly relate to.

For this generation, nostalgia marketing is like comfort food for the soul. It evokes the things they loved and cherished as children and teenagers, allowing them to relive cherished moments from their youth.


How to create a Nostalgia Marketing strategy

Nostalgia marketing is a powerful tool that can evoke positive emotions and memories in your target audience. Here are some tips on how to create a successful nostalgia marketing strategy.


1. Learn your audience's fond memories

To create a nostalgia marketing campaign, you need to know what memories your target audience cherishes. You can use social media monitoring and listening tools to find out what your audience is talking about. Look for keywords such as "I remember," "I miss," and other similar phrases. This will give you an idea of what memories your audience is nostalgic for.

"I remember","I miss","I loved","I liked","back in the day",nostalgia,"good old days",memories,reminiscing,"those were the days",nostalgic, throwback,"I treasured","I prefered","in the past","past trends"

Copy and paste this list of keywords into your social media monitoring tool to find potential ideas for nostalgia marketing. If you don't have a social media monitoring tool, you can create a free account on BrandBastion here)

Pura Vida featured the popular 90s fashion trend of puka shells in one of their recent ads. As the 90s fashion trends made quite a surprising comeback, apparel brands are leveraging nostalgia marketing better than anyone!


2. Use visuals and copywriting to evoke nostalgia

Visuals can be a powerful tool in evoking feelings of nostalgia. Use vintage or retro designs in your marketing materials to create a sense of nostalgia. For example, you could use old photos or graphics in your social media posts or advertising campaigns.

Vans advertised their shoes with a puffy 90s style by including checkered visuals to further evoke a 90s feel.


3. Look for timely opportunities to leverage nostalgia

To maximize the impact of your campaign, consider aligning it with events or holidays that already have a strong nostalgic resonance.

Leveraging Holidays

For example, if you are a food brand, you might create a nostalgia marketing campaign around Thanksgiving. During this period, your brand can tap into the nostalgia of past family meals and traditions.

Leveraging Throwback Thursday

Another timely opportunity to leverage nostalgia is with the popular social media trend, #ThrowbackThursday. This weekly trend is the perfect chance for brands to share old photos, videos, and memories that resonate with their audience.

Leveraging milestones and specific events

You can also align your nostalgia marketing campaign with a special milestone, such as a company anniversary. For example, if your brand is about to celebrate 20 years in the business, consider sharing old photos of your products. You can even create a limited edition of your product.

@disney These friendships shaped a lot of childhoods, tbh. 🥹 (P.S. Cheers to @disneychannel for celebrating their 40th anniversary!) #DisneyChannel40 #throwbackdisney #disneychannel ♬ original sound - Disney

When Disney Channel celebrated its 40th anniversary, Disney + shared some clips from old TV shows in an emotional throwback.


Looking for more ideas on how to create social media posts and ads that market nostalgia from real brands? Read our article 42 ads that market nostalgia: examples and best practices.