Seven Brands That Are Winning With Nostalgia

Living in the past isn’t such a bad thing

To mark its 55th anniversary, everybody’s favorite childhood toy also merged old and new. The company challenged consumers to decipher 55 images depicting iconic cultural references made from Lego on digital posters disseminated via Tumblr and other social media platforms. Evoking childhood stories such as The Three Little Pigs and classic flicks like King Kong and Jaws gave the brand a 19 percent bump in consumer interest.

Herbal Essences
This shampoo brand took a page from its own early-’90s playbook in the relaunch of its Shine and Smooth collection, complete with original fragrances and packaging. To support the throwback, the Procter & Gamble brand riffed on its own classic spot featuring a woman so enamored of the product she exclaims “Yes, yes, YES!” The blast from the past scored a bouncy 27 percent jump in brand affinity in the first quarter.

Sony PlayStation
In its countdown to the launch of PlayStation 4, Sony created a YouTube campaign chronicling the evolution of the iconic gaming console, featuring a series of videos spanning the product’s 19-year history. The brand ran a concurrent social media campaign encouraging fans to tweet about their favorite PlayStation moments using the hashtag #playstationmemory. The result: PlayStation scored a 19 percent gain in the BPI.

Old Navy
The retail chain has had a long love affair with nostalgia, and turned to ’80s pop culture once again in its latest campaign. Its current crop of ads taps the likes of Airplane’s Julie Hagerty, who played a scatterbrained stewardess in the beloved movie spoof, and The A Team’s Mr. T to infuse its marketing messages with retro fun. Old Navy enjoyed 13 percent greater consumer chatter as a result. Good stuff? Roger that.


Methodology: The NBCU Brand Power Index is an analysis of 500 brands and is based on a compilation of online search data from Comscore, social media buzz data from New Media Strategies, as well person-to-person conversations tracked by Keller Fay Group.

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