Cricket, a classic chocolate and a girl dancing on the field after the winning runs. Or, a child returning home at the mention of Jalebis. Anyone who has lived through the ’90s knows that these aren’t just random terms- they refer to two of the most iconic commercials of the 90s- the Cadbury commercial, featuring a girl who’s shown dancing in the stadium whilst eating a Dairy Milk after her boyfriend has hit the winning run and Dhara cooking oil’s ad featuring a small Parzaan Dastur, who went on to become the Jalebi boy.
Three decades have gone since Cadbury’s above-mentioned commercial. But, in 2021, Dairy Milk once again came up with an ad featuring a young boy doing a happy dance for his cricketer girlfriend. This in a way, is a tribute to the commercial of the 90s.
And this wasn’t the only blast from the past — Dunzo also used the ‘Adarsh Balak’ (exemplary child) reference from the ’90s, to talk about ordering groceries online.
Nostalgia marketing is all around you, just in case you missed it. Whether it’s ads highlighting your mom’s cooking or brands using a song from your school years. Walk down the grocery aisle and you’re bound to see a product that takes you down memory lane.
Nostalgia is being used cleverly by marketers with a marketing strategy, to strike a chord with the audience and to connect brands with ideas from the past. The ultimate goal, no doubt, is to associate brands with a feeling of comfort and security which is triggered by these ideas.
Nostalgia is currently being used by companies of all sizes and across industries- be it Netflix, Dunzo, McDonald’s, Pepsi or even across sporting fields in the world. And that’s because it works. From Stranger Things which is set in the 80s to “Throwback Jerseys” for the World Cup, and even “Throwback Thursdays” on social media channels: the retro charm is everywhere. Some brands like Saregama Caravan have been in fact introduced to the market solely based on their nostalgic value. For the unknown, this portable music player, introduced in 2017, comes pre-loaded with retro songs across genres and languages and is aimed at a generation who might have reduced access to records and cassettes, and are not comfortable with music streaming services.
“Old is Gold” indeed rings true, as brands tap into the world of nostalgia and create campaigns that resonate across generations.
So, what brings nostalgia to the centre table in the marketing world? In this era of fleeting attention spans and evolving trends, nostalgia serves as the fairy godmother, who transforms ordinary campaigns into extraordinary tales. With a mix of emotions and recall value, it empowers marketers to create timeless connections, and also unite generations with just one stroke. It transcends time and teleports audiences to cherished memories of the past.
Yet, industry experts criticize this overuse of nostalgia, for merely creating a small, momentary social buzz. They highlight that very few brands, like Paper Boat, have been able to make a difference with their nostalgia-driven appeal.
Amidst all this, there’s one thing for sure – nostalgic marketing is here to stay at least for a while. So while you gather your thinking caps and brew an iconic nostalgic potion, don’t forget to make sure that it fits your brand’s visuals and overall personality. Nostalgia is just a vehicle to carry that message interestingly. But the message must seamlessly fit with the brand’s tone, and take off smoothly for a memorable ride.
We did a series of blogs not long ago- “Dotty Dissects the Decline,” where we discussed in depth old ad forms and what made them popular. Check it out here to know our take on advertising from the 90s and its revival today.
At 3 Dots Design, we love to strike the perfect balance between nostalgia, emotions and marketing practices, to deliver top-notch storytelling ads for all our clients. 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