May 16, 2011

Brands attempt to lure Gen X with nostalgia

Posted by: in North America

Twentieth anniversaries tend to mark the beginning of the nostalgia phase, and a number of defining pop culture totems for Generation X (ages 34-46) are hitting that landmark this year: Lollapalooza, Nirvana’s Nevermind, Sonic the Hedgehog and Slacker. That indie movie by Richard Linklater is now getting a 23-director remake, due out in late summer. Meanwhile, MTV is bringing back both 120 Minutes (which premiered in ’86) and mid-’90s phenomenon Beavis and Butt-Head. And touchGrove has created throwback iPad games based on the old Mattel handheld sports games that used LED lights as “players.” Even the ’80s-era kids from Sweet Valley High are back (and adults) in a new novel.

The big question before marketers is whether a nostalgia tactic will connect with the notoriously cynical Gen X. Golla Bags, a Swedish maker of accessory bags and covers, is taking a decidedly Benetton-like approach to its marketing materials, and Tootsie has been running its ’70s-era Owl/Tootsie Pop commercial steadily on Disney’s XD channel (targeted at tween boys and their Gen X parents). Fox co-opted Coca-Cola’s iconic Mean Joe Green back-and-forth from 1979 for a promo during this year’s Super Bowl, while Coke itself has been using its ’70s-era “I’d like to teach the world to sing” jingle for an ad in Europe. Pepsi, meanwhile, has used ’70s-era styling to promote its throwback beverages.

Check out our study on Gen X women from two years ago: As the nostalgia engine revs up, many of our points on this generation—including their worries about finances for themselves, their children and their parents, and concerns about mortality and aging—are worth remembering.

Photo  Credit: nickstone333

1 Response to "Brands attempt to lure Gen X with nostalgia"

1 | Jessica

October 14th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Avatar

I think the 90s also hold a great amount of nostalgia for Millennials, as well.

As younger Millennials have been among the hardest hit by faltering economies, we’re seeing the TV, music and movies of their youth resurge in pop culture as this group harkens back to a simpler more innocent time in their lives. Back by popular internet demand, Nickelodeon aired a late night block of early 90s programming including Doug, Kenan and Kel , All That, and Clarissa Explains It All this summer. Additionally, some beloved 90s classics are getting a second shot at the big screen. We’ve already seen The Lion King hit theaters in 3D and 1997s Titanic will be resurrected with the 3D treatment this spring. 1993s then state of the art Jurassic Park is being digitally re-mastered and re-released in theaters this fall.

Next year, a number of projects will pay tribute to the not so long ago 1990s. ABC has a comedy project in the works based on the premise of a 1990s all-girl band—composed of “four Gwen Stefani [characters]”—who attempt to reunite after two decades of feuding. There are also three forthcoming films paying tribute to Jeff Buckley, Greetings from Tim Buckley (slated for release in 2012) and A Pure Drop along with a third that’s still unnamed. And the cast of 1999s American Pie will get together for their high school reunion in next year’s aptly titled American Reunion.

Comment Form

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER:

10 Years of 10 Trends

The Future 100

Things to Watch

  • Bio-responsive spaces
    May 19, 2015 | 4:48 pm

    DynamicSanctuary

    At last week’s Sight Unseen Offsite event in New York, Ford partnered with indie design studio The Principals to create the “Dynamic Sanctuary.” The sanctuary is a sculptural space made out of plastic, Plexiglas and LED lights that connect to a heart rate monitor and fade in and out based on the wearer’s pulse. The space was meant to be a haven from the chaos of daily life and a “poetic metaphor for the design ideas behind Ford’s 2015 Edge vehicle,” said Sight Unseen.

    Continue reading “Bio-responsive spaces” »

  • Rosé’s normcore moment
    May 14, 2015 | 12:21 pm

    Rosé

    As summer nears, once again we’re on the cusp of “rosé season.” While late spring often sees attempts to elevate the red-headed stepchild of the wine world into a product worthy of connoisseurship, this year something different is afoot: a knowing celebration of rosé’s bland charm.

    For perhaps the first time, a wine label is emerging from the self-aware world of Instagram—and, no surprise, it’s a rosé. Continue reading “Rosé’s normcore moment” »

  • Snapchat TV
    May 12, 2015 | 5:25 pm

    Snapchat

    This summer, TV’s highest-paid female actress, Sofia Vergara, will star in a reality series launching exclusively on Snapchat. The series, titled Vergaraland, is co-produced by Fusion and Vergara’s production company, Latin World Entertainment. It will tell the story of her Hollywood life through the eyes of her 24-year-old son.

    Continue reading “Snapchat TV” »

  • Virtual reality theme parks
    May 11, 2015 | 4:12 pm

    TheVoid

    Some worry that the coming age of virtual reality could lead to an epidemic of digital shut-ins—why leave the house when you can “be” anywhere with the touch of a button? The Void, however, imagines a social space where virtual reality might draw people together—a 21st century take on the classic video arcade.

    Continue reading “Virtual reality theme parks” »

  • Intangibles
    May 7, 2015 | 6:37 pm

    Intangibles

    How much would you pay for a snap? A voicemail?

    Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has launched an online shop that could be considered a conceptual art piece itself. The shop sells what Walker calls “intangibles”—ephemeral, digital commodities such as personalized ringtones or custom avatars to use on social media. Prices range from $1.99 to nearly $4,000, for a virtual ocean-view property on the platform Second Life.

    Continue reading “Intangibles” »

  • WhatsApp marketing
    May 6, 2015 | 4:32 pm

    Clarks

    Clarks shoes in the UK recently launched a WhatsApp campaign to bring the brand to life for its fans. The campaign asked users to add three characters to their contact lists—“some of culture’s greatest innovators, rebels and fashion icons”—who were all fans of the shoes. The characters then sent messages, videos and Spotify playlists through the app, telling the brand’s story while interacting with Clarks enthusiasts.

    Continue reading “WhatsApp marketing” »

  • Facebook’s Anthology
    April 30, 2015 | 4:20 pm

    FacebookVideo small

    Video is king on social media—more than 4 billion are viewed per day on Facebook alone. To capitalize on that, Facebook has just introduced Anthology, a partnership with seven media companies with the aim of creating unskippable ads.

    Continue reading “Facebook’s Anthology” »

  • MyIdol
    April 27, 2015 | 4:55 pm

    MyIdol

    Social media is abuzz with tiny pole dancers. And rock stars. And pandas. All thanks to an app that takes the humble selfie to new heights of playful absurdity—and in 3D, no less.

    Continue reading “MyIdol” »

  • Tindergram
    April 17, 2015 | 11:03 am

    Tinder Instagram

    Swiping just got more interesting—with its latest update, Tinder lets users browse the Instagram feeds of their potential matches. The pairing (which, Adweek notes, seemed inevitable) offers “a sort of social diary, co-written by your friends and family” to help people better stalk their dates.

    Continue reading “Tindergram” »

  • Everlane’s Transparent City series
    April 8, 2015 | 2:33 pm

    Everlane LA

    “We call it Radical Transparency,” says e-tail startup Everlane. The company, known for its luxe basics, was built on the principle of disclosing production costs and keeping markups as low as possible. Now, Everlane has launched the Transparent City tour, a first-of-its-kind look at the inner workings of like-minded local companies. The kickoff event in LA brought guests behind the scenes with local bloggers, designers and chefs to learn about their creative inspiration. And, perhaps the culmination of the week — Everlane invited a select few on a tour of their factory, sharing the garment construction process from start to finish. The tour had a 300-person waitlist.

    Continue reading “Everlane’s Transparent City series” »

  • RSSArchive for Things to Watch »