KNOWstalgia Marketing!

I thought there is so much to know to about Nostalgia- so, here I go again!

 

Caveat: This is a Long Read

It was the summer of 2018. On a trip to London, I was with family at a South Bank store that sold books, records, memorabilia among other things. Apart from great classics on film making and works of Shakespeare, what caught my attention was an unadulterated digital native ( she must have been at best all of 17), buying a vinyl album(records as they were called those days) of yesteryear band Fleetwood Mac. In the days of streaming music services like Spotify, Deezer and what have you, I was wondering what was the throwback all about. That experience has retained etched in (my fast fading) memory, ever since.
 
If you’ve ever watched an ad or a TV show and felt fond memories of the good old days rushing back at you, then you’re familiar with nostalgia. Nostalgia describes the sentimental longing we feel for periods in the past. It’s the warm feeling that envelops us when we think of positive times from our childhoods or youth.
Nostalgia is often triggered by a sensory stimulus, such as a scent, a song, a taste, or a sight; it can also be caused by a conversation, a memory recollection or a similar experience.
Nostalgia marketing takes on that notion and creates a playful campaign referencing a time gone by in order to tap into our collective longing for the past.
According to Krystine Batcho, Le Moyne College professor, psychologist, and researcher of nostalgia, “Nostalgia is a refuge, as people turn to the feelings of comfort, security, and love they enjoyed in their past.”
It comes as no surprise that during the first COVID-19 lockdown, mentions of nostalgic keywords rose from 13 million to 24.4 million, which is an increase of 88%.

When people watch an old television show, listen to some excellent music from a bygone era(how about ABBA?), and so on, they feel happy and have a better outlook on life. As a result, a lot of brands and businesses are now attempting to capitalize on this sentiment and trend by creating advertisements and other marketing materials that remind and nudge individuals of happier times in their lives.

 

Many enterprises are also attempting to associate their brand with pleasant memories and notions associated with past periods and places. The goal of businesses is for their customers and other consumers to associate their products and brand with a time when things were better, less stressful, and more secure.

 

This brand of advertising can be effective for businesses of all sizes. In addition to rating such nostalgic advertisements and the company behind them more favorably, consumers also pay more for the items that are associated with those advertisements. So, it is a double whammy. It is referred to as creating an emotional connection, and it pays off handsomely for the company that employs nostalgic marketing.

Why nostalgia marketing works so well

 

Studies on autobiographical memory — the memory system that tracks episodes of our lives — have shown that when we are reminded of episodes from our past, we re-experience the emotions tied to the original episodes. So, if those memories were positive — think carefree moments from our childhoods, fun family dinners, road trips or game nights with friends, etc. — we are likely to experience the same cheer.

The Devil(does not wear Prada) is in the details!
One must ensure that the music, colors, fonts, and even the images used in the advertisements or other communication are appropriate for the time period being promoted. For example, don’t use a font or color palette from the 1920s in a 1960s retro advertisement. Instead, make use of the options from the 1960s. Authenticity is paramount.
Oh the good ol’ days… One app had brought back a decade of happy memories and made millions feel like a teenager again. Pokemon Go. Coincidently it had also brought Nintendo and Niantic billions of pounds in business revenues and a new generation of loyal followers. That is the power of the past, and the reason why brands use nostalgic marketing.
The Trifecta that drives Nostalgia Marketing
Emotions
We all know about the adage ‘ Sell the Sizzle Not The Steak ‘. Enabling people to reminisce about the good ol’ days, marketers are actually triggering actual feelings we once had. Whether those feelings are your favorite snack, or the first song you slow danced to(Lady in Red anyone?), your first date, your first bike ride..
Not only does forlorning for the past make us feel fuzzy inside it also makes us open to brand messaging.
Memories
The route to nostalgia marketing is by triggering latent memory. Three’s Company or Miami Vice or I Love Lucy were great TV shows no doubt and we don’t need to be convinced about it but it works to be reminded about it. The same applies for brands; if a brand is able to trigger a reminder of a time that they were once favourable to us, or use existing memories and tie themselves to that association, then they need not worry about convincing us that they are great they can just remind us of a heyday era.
Trust
Celebrating milestones or using the year of establishment within the brand identity( aka Marks & Spencers: Est 1884) to relay to customers that you have stood the test of time is an instantly effective method of gaining their trust. This strategy to reinvigorate the trust in brands by conjuring up past associations hopes to bring back previous customers and inspire new ones.
Why (Blast from the Past) Nostalgia?
Nostalgia is the marketing equivalent of comfort food. Especially in difficult times, a hug from the past can settle our nerves and reassure us to purchase a product to make us feel secure again. As we face headwinds of a long, protracted recession, now is the time for brands to act as a comforting cup of cocoa for consumers.
Time for brands to flip the Polaroids in our minds. It would be worthwhile spending the present to go back into the past to tackle the future.
ENDS

The HURRY Cane in our lives!

Caveat Emptor

I am not making a compelling emotional and spiritual case against hurry and in favor of a slower, simpler way of life- but writing as someone all too familiar with ‘ hurry sickness ‘, I desperately needed this salve. Some of you may as well. Hence taking the liberty.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished “- Unknownymous

” Don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens – The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets awayJohn Steinbeck

Everything which you can conceive and accept is yours! Entertain no doubt.

Most of us seem to miss the wood for the trees in our pursuit of pleasure because of the breathless haste in which we go about, we hurry past it. Irony! As Lily Tomlin beautifully articulated ” The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat”.

Burnout is not a badge of honor. 

 When Marcus Aurelius( Stoic philosopher and Great Roman Emperor from 161 AD to 180 AD) spoke of his own impending and inevitable death, it wasn’t to remind himself to squeeze in as much crap as possible–it wasn’t about picking up the pace. It was to remind himself of what was important, of the standard to which he needed to hold himself. He said, “Do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life.” That is: Do it right. Not do it as quickly as possible so you can say it’s complete.

Yes, it’s true, we will die. It could be tomorrow, or it could be fifty years from now. Which is why this very moment is so important. And why we can’t let anyone rush us through it.

You’re in a hurry. To get to the office. To get through this meeting. To get to the restaurant. To get the kids in bed. To get to go on your vacation. We rush because we have somewhere to go, something we want to do more, stuff we want to get over with.

But it’s worth asking, as the Stoics did, what were we really rushing through? And what we are doing it at the expense of the present moment. We tell ourselves that the future—the thing we are after—will be better. But the truth is, it’s not guaranteed. The only thing for sure is now. What is lived we never get back. We are dying every minute, every second. When we hurry we are speeding that along.

That’s the purpose of memento mori—”remember that you will die.” It’s purpose is to make you slow down. To not rush through this moment but to exist in it. To be present for it. Even if it is mundane. Even if there is something else you’d rather be doing, even if what may come next is likely better.

The practice of memento mori has the profound potential to wake us up and breathe more life into our lives. The whole culture is telling us to hurry while the art tells us take your time. Listen to the art. And the heart.

Patience doesn’t mean making a pact with the devil of denial, ignoring our emotions and aspirations. It means being wholeheartedly engaged in the process that’s unfolding, rather than ripping open a budding flower or demanding a caterpillar hurry up and get that chrysalis stage over with— Sharon Salzberg

Time for us to slow down. Or the other option is to Hurry up and wait 😄 !

Sorry got to go. The next ‘ shiny object ‘ beckons. And I am all taken in by the ‘ thrill of the chase ‘ and the potential ‘ after glow ‘.

It’s worrying..or hurrying???

ENDS

Curiosity Skilled The Cat!

Curiosity is that strange human trait that got us out of the cave, across the globe, and onto the moon. A trait that has led to communication and collaboration.

It is why children ask: ” why?”

And as we get older and life becomes more complicated, many of us forget to keep asking that question.

Why?” requires work and critical thought. It requires the openness to learning answers that don’t fit into our existing world views. The brain is hardwired to be lazy. So default meets comfort zone where there is no room for ” why?”.

And sure, if we need to ask ” why?” every time we get a push notification on our phones, it will mercilessly take over our lives.

But ” why?” is also the most significant tool in combatting disinformation. And decoding the true intention of certain governments, organisations, brands.

Curiosity might help us better understand the others.

Their intentions.

Their feelings and fears.

Curiosity might help us understand ourselves.

Our intentions.

Our feelings and fears.

Certain meditation techniques encourage us to approach our emotions with curiosity. We cannot control when and how those emotions arise within us, but we can control how we react to them.

The ancient principle of Occam’s razor invites us to – when presented with competing hypothesis about the same problem– select the one that requires the fewest possible assumptions.

This might benefit us in our external and internal lives. The truth is we need to cultivate curiosity.

Curiosity will help us disregard ‘ human pollutants ‘ like opinion, agenda, power and greed. These pollutants are present at nearly every turn of capitalist transactions, sticking to us like grease from an oil spill.

We need more stories of compassion , and fewer stories of conflict. What’s extraordinary about our story is that it is never complete. It is never finished. It is being written and rewritten every moment in every corner of the world.

For example, it is up to us to confine conflict to our books and films. Because for THE GREAT STORY to succeed, we need to course-correct away from conflict toward compassion and cooperation.

We need to start shaping new stories for ourselves and future generations. And that narrative, in its most basic and simple form might be this..

Human(therefore)kind.

It seems pretty simple: We have to accept our insignificance. Which is significant.

Disinformation has always been part of the political and corporate playbook. However, algorithms, feedback loops, and political polarization have dusted off that book  and put it on the main display next to the gummy bears and ChapStick.

This is complex stuff, and only a few people in the world seem to truly comprehend the scientific underpinnings of the madness we’ve left ourselves be swallowed up in.

If the medium is the message and the medium is a giant tangled ball of fiber-optic cables, doesn’t that make the message, well, a giant tangled mess of messaging?

Now, ” why?” did I write this? Curiosity is getting the better of me. And I like it.

BEGINS

Is SAD the new HAPPY in Advertising?

Let’s begin with the obvious. It’s an always on world. While being perennially and technologically connected, geography being history and all of that, at no time have humans been so socially disconnected in the real sense.The need (and significantly unmet) desire for human bonding has never been greater. Nuclear existence has stoked the potential that is kinetic in humans. There is a clamour to reach out and brands are bending over backwards to suit the new found relish for the pathos.
It’s a given that sad news travels fast. But, advertising that stokes emotions( or SADvertising as it is being called these days) that strikes a strong emotional piano chord and opens up the tear ducts, travels fast, wide and deep. Empathy meets exponential sharing, opens up a floodgate of brand conversations,triggers otherwise hard to come by response, sustains brand dialogue and keeps all stakeholders be it brand owners, ad agencies or end users, happy (ironic as it may sound!).
Why the sadness?
It is said that sad emotional content has the capacity to make people feel more emotionally connected to one another, especially powerful in our detached digital world. This sad connectedness makes people more likely to take an action such as sharing content, donating money, or buying a product.
Communicating sadness can create behavioral change
Scientifically speaking, when we hear interesting stories, specifically stories that make us feel distress or empathy, our brain produces two chemicals: cortisol, which links with our sense of distress and helps us focus our attention on something, and oxytocin, which is associated with our sense of empathy. When these two chemicals are triggered, studies show that people are more likely to give money to a cause related to the story they’ve heard.
In short, the study reveals that it is possible for a story to change a person’s behaviour by changing their brain chemistry. What does this mean for brands? Sad stories have the potential to move people to make a purchase. This is why we’ll likely see more of these sad ads in the future.
We have moved on from an era of media scarcity to an era of attention
scarcity. Getting people’s attention is what we’re trying to do, and I
think that meaning, something that people can relate to on a very
visceral level, is what drives a lot of the decisions we make when we’re
talking about things. Hyper competition has forced brands to not only
assure customers a good product or service but make it very relatable
and more meaningful than any other good product.
Over time brands have realised that the consumer culture has evolved
and people are more reflective and mindful of their lives. There is a
constant search for deeper layers of meaning once you have all the
things you need and most of the things you don’t need but desire. The
ad industry of the last decade was mean, cynical and celebrated
bitterness. Those were the days when brands wanted to be Sexy,
Swaggering or Sweeping. That showed up in most of the work that was
put up. Don’t blame them as it seemed to work for all concerned. But,
then after a while, people got sick of it and when a voice and tone which
conveyed exactly the opposite stuck in, the positive reaction was
overwhelming.
Lets list a few of the work from yesteryears where brands have stirred up a flood of emotions all over the world and that includes P&G and its commercial released around the Olympics(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUg6s-uIp1w), Honda’s Project Drive In(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kRU9Au-fhk), Coca Cola Life in Argentina(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPb1t3jU3sI), Nestle Good Life commercial in India(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syZju6ui394), Google’s Dear Sophie(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcHV_Dv9tlo), Dove’s Beauty Patch(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk), John Lewis(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9D-uvKih_k), Budweiser’s Puppy Love(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p_3lITiK_Q), the charming tale of a canine equine romance or Expedia’s commercial(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CzSeFHrSfM) about same sex marriage where the father fights his prejudice etc.
The flip side of this (which is worrying) is that it has become a trend. The
word ‘ emotional ‘ is now become the most over used word in client
agency briefs. If you are used to agencies creating a trend which should
ideally be the case(rather than following one), its time to take stock. We
just might be at a tipping point on this one. But, till such time, it sinks in,
it’s cry, cry, cry till you succeed for brands and agencies.
Go, grab your tissues!
ENDS
https://www.groupisd.com/story
https://www.brandknewmag.com
https://www.brandknew.groupisd.com
https://www.weeklileaks.com

Emotions that have no speed limit when it comes to virality !

Rage seems to be in Rage when it comes to emotions traveling the farthest and fastest across Social Media networks.
The omnipresence of social media, the glut of messaging and content distribution platforms, the sophistication of social listening, combined with readily available news(breaking and broken) and events round the clock, the Damocles Sword hanging on people’s head called ‘ status anxiety ‘, the perennial quest for the next and best viral; all provide the perfect foil for brands and marketers to understand what kind of emotions travel the quickest on social networks and strategise what to ‘avoid‘ and what to ‘adopt‘.

If one were to go granular with the emotions’ basket, we would have the following and more in the bucket list:Happiness/Joy; Sadness/Depression; Rage/Anger; Pride/Prejudice; Disgust/Disillusionment; Wonder/Awe and so on and so forth.

Researchers at the Beihang University in China gauged various online emotions by tracking emoticons embedded in millions of messages posted on Sina Weibo, a popular Twitter-like microblogging platform. Their conclusion: Joy moves faster than sadness or disgust, but nothing is speedier than rage. The researchers found that users reacted most angrily—and quickly—to reports concerning “social problems and diplomatic issues”. It’s diabolical that a strong anti social emotion like rage gets the maximum social attention and currency!!!

In many cases, these ‘ social flare ups ‘ triggers a chain reaction of anger with multiple circles of the social community getting influenced and participating with equal or more venom.

In another study conducted by Jonah Berger and a colleague at Wharton based on 7000 articles covered by The New York Times, they discovered that if there was one emotion that overtook rage in billings, it was awe. The wonder and excitement of a new discovery of beauty or knowledge or a breakthrough in the fight against cancer; puts awe as an emotion in overdrive thus heaping bagfuls of viral.“Awe gets our hearts racing and our blood pumping,” Berger says. “This increases our desire for emotional connection and drives us to share.”

For all those who thought that sadness would emerge triumphant in the race to viral stardom, sorry to disappoint you. Sadness was considered to be a ‘ deactivating emotion ‘ where people pull down or withdraw leaving it with little torque to go the distance. If you feel a little melancholic about it, let that stay.

​So, the next time you see or experience road rage​, talk yourself into believing that it need not be infectious(or go viral).

​ENDS​

​groupisd.com

brandknewmag.com​