What Does Nostalgia Marketing on Social Media Offer Businesses?

We recently saw Volkswagen reincarnate the Beetle to a massive positive reception just a few years ago. The company sold more than 80,000 units in the US in 1999 and over 40,000 in 2000. In total, the company sold close to a million Beetles between 1999 and 2019.

These aren’t staggering numbers in normal circumstances. Except this is a car originally discontinued in 1988 when sales flattened after nearly seven decades. VW had sold more than 22 million beetles by then.

So, what happened in 1999? The Beetle awoke from the dead and, thanks to nostalgia marketing, rose to prominence once more. Thus, outperforming many new car models for another 20 years. But most importantly, it restored the Volkswagen brand to the spotlight for two more decades.

Many brands are using the same concept to rekindle previous customer relationships and jumpstart sales. You should too. Read on to find out how.

What’s Nostalgia Marketing?

Nostalgia marketing relies on positive, familiar memories to reinvigorate current marketing campaigns. It’s a concept that taps into your audience’s fond memories and transfers the sentiment to new marketing campaigns.

Benefits of Nostalgia Marketing for Social Media Marketers

The following are five important reasons you should consider nostalgia marketing for your next social media campaign.

1. It stirs powerful emotions

Nostalgia is a strong sentimental longing or wistful affection for past experiences. It’s a moment when the consumer is lost in fond memories, reminiscing experiences they once enjoyed. These memories trigger previous relationships with the brand, reigniting the affection for your products and services.

2. Nostalgic feelings are sub-conscious

Regular marketing practices struggle to connect with the subconscious, especially given the saturated market. Meanwhile, nostalgia awakens the subconscious mind with little effort. Unsurprisingly, subconscious marketing is far more powerful than traditional marketing. It establishes stronger emotional bonds and increases customer lifetime value.

3. Win back the older generations

Consumer needs and wants change with age. Therefore, we sometimes lose customers because the customer has “outgrown” the target demographic. Nostalgic marketing is one of the best ways to reconnect with such customers and “win” them back.

4. It is relatable

“I remember the Beetle. What a beauty!” This statement never gets old because everyone who lived in the 70s and 80s relates to the Beetle easily. The same applies to the original Nokia phones. We remember them so well because we used them and once fell in love with them. That’s how powerful nostalgia marketing is.

5. It is authentic

All the above reasons are important. However, the biggest reason nostalgia marketing works, especially on social media, is because of its authenticity. Nostalgic experiences are real. They are things that happened that we personally experienced and enjoyed. Thus, it’s completely different from a model posing with a new product we’ve never seen or interacted with.

How to Create an Effective Nostalgia Marketing Strategy

Given its success, many brands are burning the midnight oil to roll out impactful nostalgia marketing campaigns. Keep these tips in mind as you launch your nostalgia campaign:

  • Do your homework first: You must determine the nostalgic content that best matches your target audience.
  • Pay attention to the little details: For instance, the music, background, colors, and fonts must all work together to rekindle memories for a seamless effect.
  • Channel your inner creativity: Nostalgic marketing is about creativity without overstepping your boundaries. For instance, take inspiration from your history and use popular influencers to drive the message home.
  • Time the campaign right: We’ve seen many nostalgic marketing campaigns fall flat, only gaining a few likes over several days. To avoid the same fate, publish at the right time and distribute the content aggressively.


Nostalgia marketing is the perfect way to appeal to your customers’ inner emotions. It reminds them of beautiful memories, rekindling ties with your brand and products. Fortunately, it’s easy to implement.