Dancing in the rain, playing in the puddle, getting ourselves dirty, taking a bath and finding piping hot pakodas waiting for us at the dining table is something that makes each one of us nostalgic. The power of such nostalgic moments is what drives the storytelling of brands these days. Rather, nostalgia seems like the prominent fuel. How long can brands use it? When nostalgia starts feeling cringe-worthy, that’s the signal for brands to break the wheel. This article would be talking about how making the audience revisit the past might seem like a great idea, but that boat is set to sail on a wayward course.
Where’s the Generation (Need) Gap?
Universally, brands intend to cater to everybody. That’s the sole purpose of sales. Identifying target customers seems like a laborious task but it is a necessary one. From the millennial generation to Gen Z, brands desperately want to stay relevant to every individual, which is practically near impossible. So, how would they tackle this issue? BOOM! Nostalgia! Paper Boat as a brand captured the essence of nostalgia perfectly, but when the rest tried to follow this formula, they completely lost the plot. It’s just like the Axe commercial. When one brand used the ‘magnetic’ effect and the rest copied it, the attraction was lost. That’s when Wild Stone decided to break the wheel and introduce the ‘after-effects’ of the fragrance on a whole new level, rather than taking the regular sexist “Pied Piper” approach.
The use of pop culture to reference nostalgia is a good thing. When people relate to something, the connection is immediate, but if it gets too personal, there are consequences that brands wouldn’t like. Taking old pop culture references and introducing them to the new generation in a new way might be tricky. Imagine you are being told a story with no reference to context. You are lost and your attention span has gone for a toss. The storytelling that brands intend to do should address this strong need for context. Carvaan is a perfect brand that summates nostalgia in a box, quite literally. Introduce that to Gen Z and they would completely ignore it. Instead, they would choose a fancy Boat or JBL Bluetooth speaker and connect their smartphones with it.
The Flip Side of Nostalgia
When too many brands start using nostalgia in their communication without studying the market needs, customer preferences, and current trends, these ads might pass on as outdated. So, whether brands label them as “Throwback Moments” or “Nostalgia”, there are only a handful of reasons why this approach would work. Firstly, when we make customers look into the past, we realize we have triggered an emotion that may or may not be favourable. Secondly, when we have crafted that nostalgic piece of communication, the onus falls upon the advertisers to make sure it is relevant for the times we live in.
Though advertisers initially do not set out to base their ideas on nostalgia or dust off the old ads and refurbish them, the objective of nostalgic advertising is purely based on delivering the message in the best possible way. CRED used nostalgia the best way with the help of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and has delivered a masterpiece (which we have covered in our earlier blog) without being too cringy about it.
The formula is quite simple for advertisers who intend to bank on nostalgia. Customers who are future-oriented, wouldn’t want to look back on the past. Customers who like it old-fashioned, wouldn’t mind revisiting their past in different ways. Overall, it’s all about knowing the rules of engagement and if too many brands start going down memory lane, the audience might feel like the brand has no original idea, graphics, music or thought.
At 3 Dots Design Pvt. Ltd., we believe that crafting ‘relevant’ communication is as important as crafting ‘creative’ communication. Being one of the best ad agencies in Pune, our portfolio is studded with a plethora of national and international clientele who have been loving our work and our clientele is growing every day. If you wish to know more about who we are or what we do, please visit www.3dotsdesign.in or get in touch with us at email@example.com to take your brand to the next level.