Why Nostalgia Marketing Works Every Time

In a world that seems to be evolving at break-neck speed, immersing yourself in nostalgia is like wrapping yourself in a comfortable blanket of “the good ol’ days” when things were so much simpler. 

Studies suggest that nostalgia inspires consumers to spend their money because it promises an immediate return in the form of happy memories and comfort. This is why nostalgia marketing campaigns have grown increasingly popular in recent years, as brands begin to discover the value of connecting with their customers on a more in-depth, emotional level.

Politicians have also embraced this technique. Trump promised to “make America great again”, effectively implying a return to how things used to be. In the UK, the Brexit campaigners touted a way back to how the country was before the European Union ever existed.

In any case, the public eats it up. It seems that a growing group of consumers are looking backwards and wishing things were the way they used to be.

And when it comes to marketing, that offers up a ripe opportunity.

The Power Of Emotion

Any marketer is well aware of how powerful an effect emotion can have on a campaign.

Make your audience happy, or make them sad. Pull on their heartstrings, or scare them to death. It doesn’t matter what they feel, only that they do.

Neuro-imaging studies have found that when consumers evaluate a brand, they rely more on emotion than on information.

As much as we like to think we’re rational machines, the truth is that we’re wildly irrational when it comes to making decisions. That includes purchase decisions.

This means that rather than consider the facts, we focus more on how the product makes us feel.

Facts play a part, and you need to ensure you inform your audience. If you want to seal the deal, however, you need to engage them on an emotional level.

And it just so happens that nostalgia is an extremely powerful way of doing exactly that.

Now, let me take you back. Remember when you were a child? Everything was new. Each day brought with it a new experience or situation for you to deal with. New experiences catch us off-guard, and when we’re young we’re often overwhelmed with emotions that we’ve never even felt before.

Over time, these raw emotions lessen in intensity and once we’re adults, we’re fully in control. That means it’s pretty hard for marketing to actually affect us emotionally.

Research tells us that nostalgia counteracts things like boredom. 

It also makes people more tolerant of outsiders, and more generous to strangers. In fact, nostalgia can literally make people feel warmer on a cold day. 

So in today’s highly competitive marketplace, nostalgia in advertising can allow both new, and old brands to connect with their audience on a powerful emotional level. Already, some of the most significant companies in the world have begun to show us just how useful this tactic can be.

Brands like Nike and Pepsi are already using retired designs and logos from the past, announcing them as “throwback” options or “retro” products. Shows and movies are tapping into old design features and strategies to tickle the nostalgic nerves of their watchers.

The question is, how can you create your own nostalgia marketing campaigns?

As always, the best way to learn is through examples. So I’ve handpicked some great campaigns that use nostalgia to great effect.

Spotify — Never Ending Story

Personally I don’t have a strong connection with The Neverending Story, but it’s obvious that a lot of people do. The use of the crappy CGI, the iconic soundtrack, and the use of that flying dragon-dog thing original voice actor all conspire to return viewers to their younger selves.

It’s as if we’re watching our beloved childhood movie all over again, and so we open up emotionally.

How do Spotify stop it from going too far and making it cheesy? They inject a little bit of humor into the ad.

Atreyu is now roughly 40 years old, sporting a large, bushy beard, and jokes:

“I can’t believe after all these years people are still listening to this song.”

It’s a little joke at the viewer’s suspense. Yeah, we’re taking you back to your childhood, but you regularly go back there anyway, so what’s the issue?

It’s a smart way of letting you in on the joke. The ad is no longer aimed at you, it’s for you.


After Netflix added the classic Bob Ross TV show to their lineup “The Joy of Painting”, the beloved 80s artist saw a huge resurgence in popularity during 2016. In a matter of weeks, Bob Ross became a meme, a source of cult appreciation, and a trending topic on Instagram. Technology brand Adobe took notice of this trend and decided to use it in their nostalgia marketing strategy, creating a series of tutorial videos to promote their “Adobe Photoshop Sketch” application for the iPad Pro.

The joy of sketching campaign was fantastic because it not only accessed the benefits of nostalgia in advertising, but also took advantage of the trends of the time. The company even worked alongside Bob Ross Inc to make sure every detail in the “Joy of Sketching” series was accurate.


Pepsi has also used nostalgia marketing strategy as a way of capturing their audience and strengthening emotional connections. Like Cola, Pepsi also brought back a discontinued drink from the 90s, “Crystal Pepsi”, as part of a limited-time run in 2016. The brand promoted their upcoming revival of the drink with a range of incredible advertising campaigns that built upon their existing nostalgic strategy.

One of the most appealing parts of the campaign was a game called the “Crystal Pepsi Trail”, which drew inspiration from the “Oregon Trail” game of the 70s, updated with a range of 90s call-backs like Tamagotchis and Furbies.


In an age that’s plagued by impersonal digital connections, nostalgia allows brands to leverage the optimistic feelings that come with a walk down memory lane. References to the past help to humanise brands, creating that sense of alignment that we all feel when we think about our past.

As always, successful campaigns – nostalgic or otherwise – will take work and authenticity. The key is figuring out how to identify the most important moments in your customer’s timeline and use those memories to enhance the identity of your company. Nostalgic marketing works best when companies understand their audience, keep their finger on the pulse of the existing culture, and listen to what people crave the most.


Hi, my name is Fernando, and I run this site.

Thanks for visiting. If you’re interested - or even better: invested - in the intersection of marketing, emerging tech, and futurology then this blog is for you. Welcome!

The Psychology of Color in Marketing

A brand’s choice of color is a fundamental element that reinforces both its personality and the qualities of the products and/or services it offers. Some brands are so iconic that it is possible to identify them from just a single Pantone color without an accompanying logo. Others, including Cadbury, Barbie, and UPS, have even gone so far as to trademark their defining shades. So why do brands place such importance on color and what impact does it have on the way consumers perceive them? Let’s look at some research and then some famous examples.

How Gucci Won Over Gen Z Using Technology

Gucci, as you may have heard, is crushing it with millennials. In 2018, 62% of Gucci’s more than $8 billion in sales came from the under-35 set, a demographic that is generally harder for luxury brands to capture, given the high price points of their products.

But what you might not know is that Gucci’s fastest-growing segment is now generation Z, the oldest of whom is only 24. This bodes well for Gucci’s future.

How Machine Learning Plays a Role in Multi Touch Attribution

Machine Learning Multi Touch Attribution

In a fast-moving, ever-changing consumer market, companies that want to stay ahead need to be quick to adapt. On the other hand, those that don't take advantage of innovation can be quick to fail.

The rise of artificial intelligence in digital marketing has led to machine learning multi touch attribution, a new form of analysis that can revolutionize the way you strategically plan campaigns.

Increase Efficiency with Machine Learning

Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence which elevates the application of basic statistical techniques. With a machine learning model, you have a computer system that has the intrinsic ability to learn and improve its performance as more data is inputted and analyzed.

The quick and efficient processing capabilities of machine learning models are effective even without being explicitly programmed to analyze one campaign or another. It is especially more efficient when you compare it with traditional methods.

Getting analyses in the old method – through econometric models – requires intensive human labor and a less dynamic lens. For example, marketing analysts need to perform logistic regression on existing data, to get the input needed to apply a particular model. The traditional method has several constraints, as analysts need to make assumptions on which model to use, to correctly convert data into its relevant form, and to do all adjustments in analysis within a short period of time.

Instead, you can invest in artificial intelligence. Machine learning systems can measure and account for different situational variables on the fly, and adjust for them accordingly. Instead of taking the time to make assumptions, machine learning models can quickly run through different models to successfully pinpoint which marketing interactions matter. It's the shortest path to success.

Any marketing campaign planned with the analyses from machine learning models automatically become faster and more responsive.

Multi Touch Attribution for Effective Marketing Analysis

Machine learning models, like man-made analyses, can generate many kinds of analyses and graphs. The key difference is in speed and precision. With machine learning models, you can expect true attribution aside from increased efficiency.

True attribution means you can pinpoint which marketing activity is responsible for a particular outcome. In most cases, marketing analysts try to save time by looking only at proximal factors. For example, a successful sale is seen as a direct consequence of a marketing advertisement that was flashed right before the transaction.

However, sales and transactions are rarely that simple. Success needs to be attributed to its proper causes, which can involve a long-term and non-immediate marketing activity. Often, determining the correct attribution requires more processing power than what traditional methods can offer.

Machine learning multi touch attribution can answer the real questions for you. Which marketing activity or activities have the greatest impact? Which ones have the lowest return?

These are the kinds of ratios that can turn sale activities into data points for strategic planning. Aside from being as close as possible to the truth, machine learning accounts for multiple touchpoints. Success can be due to any number of marketing activities; a series of touchpoints may have been integral to the conversion of a sale.

With multi touch attribution, you can speedily recognize multiple marketing touchpoints that you may have otherwise missed.

Improve your Business with Machine Learning Multi Touch Attribution

Machine learning multi touch attribution already promises faster analyses that can precisely pinpoint multiple marketing touchpoints behind an actual sale. This is the kind of analyses that can improve your company's strategy. With this information, you can cut losses by re-evaluating underperforming campaigns and gain more by promoting successful ones.

Machine learning can also lead to better "what-if" analyses. Instead of predicting and assuming trends based on cluster analyses, which is heavily based on correctly identifying and grouping prospects and customers, a system can run through different conditions for you. If a particular situational element has changed, or if you redirect efforts to a certain marketing campaign, what is the impact to your bottom-line?

With machine learning multi touch attribution, you can raise your bottom-line and remain a cut above the rest. Innovation is the key to creating a more competitive foundation for your overall business strategy.