Especially for younger consumers, a significant attraction of digital products and platforms has been their novelty, as opposed to their utility. But the novel coronavirus has given most of us as much novelty as we care to deal with. As the pandemic drags past Q1 and into Q2, the desire for a return to normalcy will only grow stronger, to one degree or another. This is why nostalgia marketing will likely continue to enjoy a renaissance in 2021.
Nostalgia marketing may win out over newness; Brand Mentality™ and the future-forward marketing revolution
 

Especially for younger consumers, a significant attraction of digital products and platforms has been their novelty, as opposed to their utility. But the novel coronavirus has given most of us as much novelty as we care to deal with. As the pandemic drags past Q1 and into Q2, the desire for a return to normalcy will only grow stronger, to one degree or another. This is why nostalgia marketing will likely continue to enjoy a renaissance in 2021.

Nostalgia saw an uptick after 9/11, during the Great Recession, and amid the pandemic as well, as evidenced by the recent Super Bowl. Frito-Lay invested in nostalgia by hiring Mindy Kaling, Jimmy Kimmel, and Matthew McConaughey to reintroduce 1990s snack Doritos 3D Crunch. In a spot for Cheetos, the company enlisted Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, famous for their pairing on “That ’70s Show,” along with singer Shaggy, for a rendition of the latter’s 2000 hit “It Wasn’t Me.” Uber Eats reunited Wayne and Garth from “Wayne’s World”; the duo last hit movie theaters 28 years ago. Notice a pattern?

It’s not just advertising that has been bitten by the nostalgia bug. Some 71% of Americans said they began playing video games more after the pandemic began, with more than one in three turning to classic video games from their childhood, according to recent OnePoll research sponsored by World of Warships by Wargaming. Wristwatch preferences, particularly among collectors, have skewed toward favorites of yesteryear such as Swatches and Casio G-Shocks. Drive-in theaters are also making a comeback, and baseball card sales have spiked to a level not seen in years.

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