The Era Of Nostalgia: Why Good Memories Sell

It was announced this week that the Nokia 3310 – perhaps the definitive mobile of our time, bar the iPhone – is being reissued. While it may seem surprising, it’s just the latest brand to capitalise on the nostalgic trend, with a stream of seemingly defunct names and products enjoying resurgence.

With political, social and economic uncertainty prevalent, an increasing demand for simpler products, and a desire for the forgotten feelings of youth, is it any wonder consumers are taking comfort in looking backwards, not forwards? From the return of cassettes, to fashion chokers and even cereals, it seems nothing is safe from being dragged into the twenty-first century.

It’s no surprise that marketing that taps into consumer emotions is the most successful of its kind. And nothing makes a person more prone to part with their cash than a nostalgic-centred campaign – especially in the somewhat impersonal world of ‘unsocial’ media and the daily grind. Here are 3 great examples of brands that know how to use a throwback.

Kelloggs Eggos


While it’s not unusual for TV and film to incorporate product placement, Netflix and Kelloggs did something different for Hallowe’en hit Stranger Things. An ode to 80 greats like E.T and Stand By Me, the show further captured the feel of the decade with food – namely Kelloggs’ Eggo waffles, beloved by one of the series’ main characters, Eleven. However, the brand’s sales slumped in lieu of a Listeria scare – and unofficial spokeswoman, Eleven actress Millie Bobby Brown called the waffles ‘’absolutely disgusting’’.


News and entertainment titan, BuzzFeed, practically invented the listicle – and it’s not uncommon for an article focusing on 90s toys, tunes or TV to trend on social sites. There’s even a dedicated nostalgia section on Buzzfeed, Rewind, which covers everything from what bygone stars now look like, to knowledge-testing Disney quizzes and more ‘adult’ analysis of teen movies.


coop1coop2Co-Op, Waterstone’s, Kodak – whether good reads or groceries, major brands have cashed in on nostalgia to unveil logos that either mimic, or capture, their original efforts. Co-Op’s logo returns to the 60s, where the classic, clover-leaf look of the font returns in cut-out form, and the blue background becomes the type colour.

But nostalgia doesn’t necessarily mean brands are harkening back to older times. Japanese camera brand, Canon, has held onto a good thing – their bold, red logo has been untouched for 60 years:


* To Kelloggs, Canon and Co-Op for brand logos/products
* Retro Co-Op photo: unknown source
* Featured image: Yogendra Joshi on Flickr