We all dream of simpler times. That’s what nostalgia is for. Coupled with the fact that there’s a lot of content out there, this could be the secret to breaking through. From half a dozen or more social media platforms to a dozen or so streaming services to the black hole of YouTube and Instagram, we are drowning in content! However, by tapping into your audience’s inner child, you might be able to rise above. Look toward nostalgia as these industries have:
Nostalgia in Collectibles
The pandemic saw the collectibles market explode. People were stuck at home with nothing but the Internet, messy attics (or basements), and time. This formula caused people to rediscover their old hobbies of collecting from stamps, cards, comic books, and more. The younger generations who sometimes shun anything physical were able to collect NFTs to mimic the older generation. It was nostalgia that brought these collectors back into the market with these collectibles hitting all time highs. In addition, fractionalization platforms like Otis and Rally helped provide access to these assets for those that couldn’t afford a full unit.
Nostalgia in Art
Andy Warhol tapped into nostalgia in the 70s and 80s to become the most expensive American artist in history; his iconic Marilyn Monroe painting sold for $200 million earlier this year. Similarly, the hot artists are those that make their art publicly available, like Kaws, Shepard Fairey, and Jerkface who have made a name for themselves by tapping into their target audience’s nostalgia for their own pop culture, including the TV shows, movies and cartoons of their childhood. Kaws’ remake of the famed Beatles album cover with characters from the Simpsons sold for nearly $15 million. Many other pop artists have tapped into nostalgia as Warhol did in his heyday.
Nostalgia in Streaming
Top Gun Maverick is the sequel to Tom Cruise’s hit in the 80s. It’s already exceeded all estimates and has made over $300 million worldwide. Likewise, on Netflix, a top show for most of 2021 was Cobra Kai, a spin off from the 80s hit Karate Kid. Of course superhero franchises are still going strong, most of which are from characters created in our childhood (ahem, Batman). Remakes stand out when scrolling through infinite content and give the viewer a ‘warm start’ by already understanding the characters and some of the plot points. Stranger Things, while not a remake, brings elements of our 80s childhood including music (see next section).
Nostalgia in Music
When Stranger Things was released last week, it also drove up a thirty year song to new highs, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” Dua Lipa’s Cold Heart is a collaboration with Elton John who share a 50 year age gap. Dreams by Fleetwood Mac also made a comeback last year after being featured in a skateboarding cranberry juice drinking TikTok viral video.
While taking chords from an old song is a risky practice (Diddy pays Sting ¾ of a million dollars every year for utilizing the chords from “Every Breath You Take” for his hit, “I’ll Be Missing You.”), collaborations like Dua Lipa’s are a great way to gain fans for both artists. Regardless, the timeless hits from the 80s continue to permeate pop culture of today whether in film, streaming, or television.
Nostalgia is a powerful tool to provide your current or new fans something familiar to rope them in. Reminding people of their early years seems to be a trend right now. Let’s see what happens in the coming months. Did you utilize nostalgia in your content or products? Have your fans been energized by it and what was the response? Drop us an email and we will be sure to share your experiences with our community!