When Nostalgia Marketing Dominates Your Facebook Feed


What does the Netflix hit Stranger Things, Chicago’s Saved by the Bell diner, and the new episodes of Fuller House have in common? Answer: They all touch on a big marketing surge dubbed Nostalgia Marketing. I don’t see it going away anytime soon.



Fellow Gen-Xers and millennials are feeling all of the warm and fuzzies lately, from countdown lists of top ’80s toys to the supercut video that illustrates how Stranger Things is a visual callback to old movies like Stand By Me. I found out about all of these activities through my Facebook and Twitter streams. Not a print ad. Not a television commercial. Not a billboard, but through my personal social networks.

Some other throwback campaigns you may have noticed:

* The cast of Hook got together for a reunion photo shoot

*Nintendo announced a new mini console that is preloaded with their top games, to launch this holiday season

* The excitement over the Back to the Future shoes

Did all of these campaigns work? Great question. I don’t know what the specific ROI was of each endeavor, but if I was running the digital media activities for those nostalgia campaigns, I’d have community managers staffed around the clock to respond to and/or answer questions of fans who got excited seeing their favorite product or movie being brought back to life. We all remember the time and place when we first discovered Caboodles make-up boxes or played Dungeons & Dragons for the first time. Nostalgia Marketing, done right, can open a whole new relationship between brand and consumer. Add in the potential children of those consumers and you have yet another revenue stream.

I was really happy to see how Nike engaged Michael J. Fox with the release of the Mags. Nike brought in the movie hero we all remember and partnered with Fox and his charity to promote the shoes (The Mags were only produced to be sold at auction). I saw the shoes in action while connecting with an icon from the ’80s. I felt like he was talking to me when he tried on those shoes. If those shoes were available for purchase, I’d pick them up in a heartbeat.

As the holidays approach us, I predict more #tbt (throwback Thursdays) and more products and movies coming out of the woodwork to pluck at our consumer hearts. The big question remains: Will marketers address the fantastic opportunity to connect with diehard fans in real-time? If you are one of those marketers, give us a ring. We’d be happy to help.

Blagica Bottigliero

VP, Digital Media