With polaroids and vinyl making a comeback and tiny sunglasses making their appearance on the fashion scene once again, the trends re-emerging over the past few years have solidified the value and power of nostalgia marketing. Regardless of if you are a millennial looking to relive 90’s fashion, or a parent reminiscing about the good old days, nostalgia has something special to offer all customer groups – and that’s why it is such a powerful marketing tactic.

A Jump Back in Time

Nostalgia marketing has been leveraged by brands from all industries. By tapping into positive cultural memories from previous decades, companies can drive energy into their modern campaigns and build trust for new ideas and brands. These campaigns allow companies of any age and background to link their brand purpose with old ideas to evoke feelings of security, comfort, and engagement in their audience.

But why does nostalgia marketing work so well?

Science Daily reported that when people feel nostalgic, they tend to spend more money. When people have higher levels of social connectedness and feel that their wants and needs can be achieved through the help of others, their ability to prioritize and keep control over their money becomes less pressing. Naturally, this makes for the perfect sales and marketing tactic.

Let’s take a look at four companies that have leveraged nostalgia as a marketing strategy to boost sales and brand awareness over the past decade.

General Mills

In 2011, General Mills partnered with Target to introduce retro cereal boxes in their stores. The cereal company released limited-edition box designs for some of their most iconic cereals, recreating the original packaging from the years they were released. Not surprisingly, the sales results were astounding.

The plan not only showed how deeply the brands connect consumers across all generations but also gives today’s parents the opportunity to share memories from their own childhoods with their kids. The campaign has since transformed into an annual one, where sales [doubled] over the first year.


Regardless of if you were around in the 1980s to experience the ingenuity of Bob Ross, you surely will recognize him after he surged to popularity again in 2016. Adobe rode the wave of the Bob Ross meme and leveraged the iconic artist’s resurgence, creating a series of tutorial videos to promote their “Adobe Photoshop Sketch” application for the iPad Pro.

Not only did this ad campaign leverage nostalgia marketing to promote Adobe’s new app, but the campaign also took advantage of the trends at the time.


Now, brands don’t need to only use visual branding to evoke feelings of nostalgia. Music is a very easy and straightforward way to instill the feelings of comfort and happiness in your audience.

One very memorable ad campaign that we saw in the aughts was the set of Swiffer commercials that leveraged the song “Baby Come Back” and other early 80s hits. Both humor and nostalgia were hard at work in this campaign, giving the audience a chance to reminisce about the past in a longing way, helping promote the brand in a comforting light.


When Apple was promoting the release of the iPhone 6s, they notably leveraged a more nostalgic celebrity guest‒Cookie Monster. Everyone’s favorite sweet-toothed Muppet graced our screens and showed us just how simple it is to use the Siri feature on Apple products.

Whether it is visual or auditory, nostalgia marketing can take many different forms. It frequently strikes a chord with audiences of all ages, promoting strong, positive feelings with the featured brand. Leveraging nostalgia marketing in your campaigns is often a smart tactic to help your brand resonate with a wider audience. When you’re considering leveraging nostalgia in your next marketing campaign, be sure to keep in mind whether this strategy is best for your brand. Reach out to the top marketing and branding agencies, like Bluetext, to consult if this marketing strategy is best for your business.

In need of a brilliant campaign that you want to bring to life? Get in touch with Bluetext and see how we can turn ideas into ROI reality for your company.