MediaPost reports that Pepsi has, in fact, created an entire "throwback" team to manage nostalgia marketing targeting the Millennials, who were born digital and--like their baby-boom parents--are attracted to reminders of their youth. Luden's cough drops--a staple of 1950s childhood--are making a comeback with throwback packaging and graphics that link to the past but speak of authenticity today. Heinz is going retro, too.
Wisely, many of these retro marketing touches are limited-edition. Change is good--especially for Millennials, who often crave variety and novelty.
On the plus side of nostalgia marketing:
- Packaging stands out in a crowded marketplace. No one can mistake the "throwback" Mountain Dew with new-fangled fruit-flavored fizzes, etc.
- Heritage gives a brand the authenticity that come-lately brands can't match.
- Being old enough to go "nostalgia" gives brands a wider range of possible marketing approaches based on previously successful campaigns.
- Overdoing the retro feeling until consumers think the brand has "jumped the shark."
- Not backing the brand promise up with real benefits that satisfy contemporary buyers' needs.
- Too many changes can confuse consumers and drive them back into the arms of brands that look familiar.