Lately, more and more people are becoming nostalgic for elements of their childhood and adolescence because they remind them of simpler times. Between the unadulterated fun of playing with our Game Boys and the excitement we felt waiting for the dial-up internet to connect, the warm and happy emotions triggered by nostalgia are unmatched. This is one of the main reasons why we’ve seen a lot of Throwback Thursday hashtags on social media recently.
This public longing for the past goes beyond social media, as the widespread nostalgia has helped put many, long-forgotten brands back under the spotlight. Current brands have also started incorporating a mix of retro-cool elements in their advertising campaigns to keep up with this trend. To illustrate just how powerful this new wave of reminiscence is, here are 6 examples of how nostalgia is making a strong comeback.
Evolving Digital Services and Devices
From old Polaroids and record collections to retro video games and VHS tapes, many people today are sifting through their old belongings, reminiscing over the role they played in their childhood. This has given way for many new businesses to emerge. As you will see on this website, many companies nowadays specialize in repairing old VHS tapes and converting old cassettes and tapes into digital media. Also, old devices, such as Polaroid cameras and record players, are evolving into more technologically advanced versions with a similar, old-style look to keep up with the times while providing the same familiar feeling.
New Old Music
In this digital streaming age, vinyl records are considered a relic of an earlier time in music. However, these days, there's a rebirth of young record collectors, many of whom belong to the millennial generation. Since millennials are the largest consumer segment in the music industry, most major labels and musicians are releasing their music on LPs to meet their demands. There has also been a spike in the vinyl reissues of a growing number of classic albums, including the complete Beatles collection, as well as the early Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan albums, to name a few. Moreover, many up-and-coming artists are reviving certain music genres, such as punk rock and folk, and paying tribute to the 90s, 80s, and 70s music with their songs
Classic Franchises and Movie Remakes
Nostalgia is perhaps more powerful today in the eyes of Hollywood executives than it has ever been. Just look at all the 80s franchises that are still going strong to this day or have been brought back recently, such as Ghostbusters, Transformers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Additionally, there are so many movie remakes nowadays, from Aladdin and The Lion King to A Star Is Born, Suspiria, and many more. On top of that, several TV shows like Stranger Things are depending on heavy 80s culture references to satisfy the audience’s yearning for a simpler time.
The past year we saw vintage-inspired fashion become the best-best-seller on both the high-street and luxury catwalks. This gave high-end fashion brands the chance to pay homage to their heritage, and capitalize on their decades-old logos and designs to produce retro-inspired pieces for shoppers today. From 90s streetwear and 80s washed denim to 70s bold patterns and flared trousers, various fashion brands today are adapting vintage styles to modern consumers’ needs and preferences.
Brands like Coca Cola and Pepsi— which are still incredibly popular to this day— periodically launch special editions with their old logos to celebrate their anniversaries or launch new campaigns while taking the audience on a flashback tour that evokes their childhood memories. Not only can nostalgia bring back heartwarming memories, but it can also single-handedly resurrect a faltering brand. A prominent example of that would be the surprising and successful Twinkies comeback. After it suspended production back in 2012 during bankruptcy proceedings, Hostess, the brand behind Twinkies, was able to acquire the funds they needed to bring back the staple snack, thanks to the outpouring of public nostalgia.
Pokémon Go, the world’s first augmented reality mobile game, was released in 2016. As a popular game and a beloved brand that many millennials grew up with, the newest Pokémon release instantly became a huge success around the world. Scrabble, the classic word game, has also seen a recent surge in popularity with various digital versions taking the app stores by storm. Many card games, such as Snap and Happy Family are also making a comeback, where they can now be seen on the shelves of many bookstores, and even in many online marketplaces.
If there’s anything we can learn from this nostalgic trend it is that authenticity matters in the long run. Only original and authentic brands that stay true to who they are can endure generation after generation of change. In a world filled with ads, products, and brands, customers long for something meaningful, genuine, and personal, and nostalgic brands can effectively provide that.
Published by Matthew Piggot