Holiday Ads Lean Into the Power of Nostalgia

The holidays are always a great time to take notice of what companies across all industries are using to motivate consumers to take action – especially in an increasingly digital world. How do you get shoppers to choose your brand over dozens of others with competitive pricing, and easy access? One of the most popular trends we noticed this holiday season was designed to pull at consumer heart strings: nostalgia.

Argos’ holiday ad featured a dad whose childhood dreams are stirred when he sees his daughter circled a drum set in the catalogue. Macy’s, Microsoft, Frito Lay, and many other major brands released holiday ads that left us longing for years past – and for our childhood when the holidays seemed larger than ever.

This recent trend begs the question: How important is nostalgia in marketing?

Leveraging emotions in a marketing campaign has already been proven successful, but incorporating nostalgia has the potential to change the game entirely. Digital content causes trends to cycle faster than ever before, making it possible to feel nostalgia for something that happened only last year or even sooner. This requires marketing strategies to be less cookie cutter and more adaptive to the flux in trends. Nostalgia may be the piece your marketing campaign is missing that would make it nimble to withstand the trends we are sure to encounter in 2020.

If refreshing your 2020 marketing campaigns is on your radar (which it should be), here are some nostalgic nuggets of knowledge to consider:

  • When executing advertising campaigns, think about the human interest. How will people be impacted by this? What emotions will this evoke?
  • Humanize everything! Whether it’s digital, print, or in-person, find some way to add a human element to your product or service.
  • Be intentional when targeting senses (touch, sight, hearing, smell, taste) with your marketing campaign to help evoke even greater nostalgia among viewers.

Have thoughts on nostalgic marketing trends or questions on how to prep your 2020 marketing plan? Have an example you really love? Drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you!



Catherine Ritchie









This Feature Blog is by Catherine Honeycutt, Assistant Account Executive