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Why Nostalgia Marketing Is Effective.

Last week a colleague of mine at the office started playing “Iya Basira”, a popular Nigerian hit single by Style Plus released over a decade ago, and we all sang along loudly. Before long I was immersed in nostalgia and I wanted to re-live every moment. I felt the urge to make a few phone calls to friends from the past. I laughed at myself a little when I found out that some of them have even changed their number, and that is the power of nostalgia. It is no wonder many brands today are using nostalgia marketing to promote their brands.


If you don’t know what nostalgia marketing is yet, it using positive cultural memories from the past to design new campaigns. Everyone is doing it, Microsoft, McDonald’s , Spotify and many more brands.  Why? People have an undeniable psychological response to nostalgia marketing. According to an  Hubspot article by Erik Devaney, Nostalgia has a positive effect on psych and although it may be triggered by negative emotions, nostalgic memories are generally happy memories and experiencing nostalgia has psychological benefits. That’s exactly how I felt when I heard the chorus of Iya Basira, it felt like my high school days were back and along with it came some beautiful memories.


Tapping into this memories can be an invaluable tactic especially for engaging millennials. According to a Forbes Piece by Lauren Friedman,, Along side on relenting responsibilities and the challenges of adulting, fond memories make us smile and that leaves us open to brand messaging.  Bring back a memory from the past and you are likely to strike an emotional chord with millennials. Just last week I posted a few adverts from the past on twitter and the engagement was far beyond what I expected. It had people quoting lines from the adverts and others just reminiscing. It was beautiful. Ladies were still in love with Jerry from the MTN midnight call advert, some guys remembered baba blue and no one forgot Papilo.


The memories are endless for millennials, from board games like Ludo and ayo to music like Iya Basira and even adverts “shaky shaky daddy”, and we are the most active group online according to ComScore research in 2015. As a business, if you could curate some those positive emotions and leverage on them to pass your brand message on social media the results would be out of this world, but it has to be authentic and executed properly. When executed properly it would leave your audience dazzled and your brands in their mind for a long long time.


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