Nostalgia marketing is when marketers uses something from the consumer’s past in their advertisements, package design or even in branding. Nostalgia refers to something sentimental or wistful that occurred in the past.
Brands tap into the positive memories consumers have that are associated with existing brands, ideas, toys or even songs. This is to try and create an association between their product/service and the consumer’s happy memories. By creating an association between the brand’s product/service with happy memories, consumers may be more inclined to purchase it.
People were found to more likely spend money if the product/service reminded them of the past Source. It has been found that Millennials are the most influenced by this because they feel a stronger sentiment than past generations Source. Which totally makes sense because when Pokemon Go came out, I flipped! And when I went to Japan over the summer, I bought a Tamagotchi on impulse… I don’t even use it anymore but I’m glad I bought it.
Recently, Meitu (a Chinese phone company) teamed up with the anime Sailor Moon and released an official Sailor Moon phone with a matching wand selfie stick.
The phone set comes with Meitu’s latest version of the M8, in a customised pink with the Sailor Moon logo on the back Source. It also comes with accessories, including the magic wand selfie stick, a phone case and a little pink button thing… I don’t know what it is and no one seems to be talking about that so… whatever I guess?
This is a perfect example of nostaglia marketing because it’s totally working on me… But seriously? This is great because as a consumer, I associate Sailor Moon with my childhood. I remember watching Sailor Moon on the weekends with my little sister. We would love to pretend to be the sailor scouts or Sailor Moon herself and dance around when she transformed into her gear. I mean, this product is totally working for me.
But getting back to how this relates to marketing…
- Why does nostalgia marketing work best on Millennials?
By recreating positive memories, marketers can make millennials feel good. As we all know, our emotions can affect whether we purchase a product/service Source. Ever been successful shopping when you’re upset or hungry? Probably not. Brands leverage the release of happiness consumers feel when they remember positive memories through association. I think, Meitu’s Sailor Moon phone will be a success because it taps into the fandom of the anime but also the positive memories fans have.
- Why does creating emotion work for consumers?
Marketers aim to create memorable advertisements/products/services so consumers can easily recall the brand. By associating the brand with something from a consumer’s positive memories, this will enhance the recall Source. For example, the Sailor Moon phone works for me because the anime Sailor Moon is a retrieval cue and I recall my childhood memories when I see the name/logo. From this, salience occurs as I become attracted to the product and want to gather more information. Overall, I feel happy when I see Sailor Moon and also feel happy to purchase the product.
- Can nostalgia marketing work for all brands?
I don’t think it can work for all brands. It may not work depending on who the brand wants to target. For example, Pokemon Go exploded and became very successful because it not only targeted consumers who grew up with Pokemon but also youth and children today. It leveraged the nostalgic feelings Millennials and other generations felt and it passed on as curiosity and excitement to younger generations. I believe it really depends on who the brand wants to target, otherwise nostalgia may not occur and consumers may get confused.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I have spent writing it! I will let you all know if I get my hands on the Sailor Moon phone. Lucky for me, I will be heading to China in June so fingers crossed I can get my hands on one!