Is Nostalgia Marketing Right For Your Brand?

Heather Klatt, Corporate Communications Specialist

If you scroll through any social media, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a post featuring an item from the 1990s, like a Spacemaker pencil box or zebra stripe gum, with the caption, “You can smell/taste this photo.” There also might be a single tweet like, “Some of you never took a Razor scooter to the ankle and it shows.”


While both of these examples specifically speak to millennials, it’s clear we all seem to be longing for the good old days – that feeling of something. (Ok, maybe not pain in the ankle, but you get the idea.)

As we continue living with a global pandemic, it’s hard not to feel nostalgic for the carefree days of our childhood or even college. Marketing strategies that target emotions aren’t new, and being able to tap into sentimental memories attracts potential consumers across generations.

Apple recently announced the new iMac will be available in seven colors and, while “you’ve never seen a computer like this before,” the internet was quick to see the parallels with Apple desktop models of the late ‘90s, which came in five colors. Was the redesign intentional? It’s likely. And it worked – I was instantly transported back to my grade school computer class.

Consider how your brand has evolved over the years, yet maintained its relevance. While rebranding is a way to modernize and generate new energy, it can also make your brand more classic.

Burger King launched a redesign earlier this year featuring its name sandwiched between two buns with updated versions of the logos used from 1969 to 1999. It’s a familiar look that lends “comfort” to the brand.

Looking back on the good old days pulls people to a place of familiarity and certainty. Nostalgia provides comfort and allows us to connect with others in our shared experiences of “simpler” times.

With decades of expertise in brand identity, corporate rebrands and messaging, Hart has witnessed trends come and go. We are happy to take a trip down memory lane with you to figure out how you can use those nostalgic moments in an upcoming campaign – or whether that even makes sense for your brand in the first place.

For more information on this topic and other communications strategies, contact us!