If you read our post, “Making Print Cool Again: Digital-Native Brands Spice Things up by Going Old School,” you know that companies are taking advantage of integrating retro trends into their strategic plans. After reading Rebecca’s post, I wanted to know more, and upon doing some research, I found a key contributing factor to be emotion. Emotions dictate how consumers respond to stimuli, and brands are taking notice. This means that when a brand aligns their marketing strategy with human emotion, great things can happen.
How does this relate to Rebecca’s blog? One way to trigger these emotions is through nostalgia. Nostalgia is defined as “the wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time” (reading through popstar magazines in the 90s, anyone?). Companies are now using nostalgia to reel us in and throw us back. Looking for an example? Read on!
Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. From the crisp red and white logo to the polar bears, their marketing has reached billions.
Many Coke campaigns have aimed to achieve a retro aesthetic. Starting in 2007, Coca-Cola tweaked their logo to feature the classic ribbon that first debuted in 1969. Following this, the famous “Share a Coke” campaign brought back a classic style font that gave the cans and bottles a friendly, old-school look, while bringing people together. Finally, in 2015 Coca-Cola celebrated 100 years of their classic glass bottle. This idea took off and was a huge success for the brand. It brought in those who had already enjoyed Coca-Cola to love it even more, and attracted new consumer interest due to so many people’s connection with the campaign.
In 2016, Kodak Cameras rebranded for the first time in 10 years. The aesthetic change focused around an “updated” logo, which pays a strong homage to their signature look from the 70s and 80s.
Steven Overman, Kodak’s Chief Marketing Officer, commented the shift, stating, “The latest iteration needed to feel fresh, yet classic, yet sit harmoniously alongside a range of logos that you still see on signage and packaging around the world. Our goal is to amplify what is already memorable and resonant around the world.”
This statement highlights what many other brands are aiming to achieve. A rebirth of the old that emphasizes the new – a strategy that jogs our memory back to what we know and establishes our connection with the brand’s new mission.
The last (and dare I say, best) example I have for you is Pizza Hut’s current campaign. As a staple in the mid-2000s, many remember Pizza Hut’s red roof restaurants as a fun and classic gathering place. In fact, Pizza Hut’s chief brand officer, Marianne Radley, said that they “conducted qualitative research with more than 3,000 consumers, and one consistent piece of feedback we got was that customers still consider Pizza Hut America’s Original Pizza Company.”
Because of this, Pizza Hut had decided to “really embrace [their] heritage” and use their classic and retro red roof logo on social and digital media platforms. We love this move by Pizza Hut, and are seriously considering ordering Pizza Hut for our next team lunch.
Next time you’re on social media or in a store and see something that makes you say, “oh my gosh, remember this?” you’ve been initiated into nostalgia marketing 101. Which is actually a good thing, not only for the brands using it, but for the little part of your brain that makes you feel happy, and perhaps, a little bit younger.
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