The End Of Nostalgia Marketing


  prince 
  Originally uploaded by A N G E L

If you’ve read my blog on a fairly regular basis, you know that I’m a music fan and, as a result, fascinated with . Music marketing is especially fascinating to me because, as , since the music industry is falling apart, it provides a unique glimpse into the rise and innovation of online marketing and a demonstration of conversational marketing.

It began to dawn on me that due to the phenomenal variety and volume of music that is now easily accessible through and MP3 blog aggregators like elbo.ws and , through music discovery services and popular music blogs like , and , the audience for bands and musicians is fragmenting radically. .

This phenomenon has and was recently .

For the music fan in me, this fragmentation is fantastic because it means I have a vast array of new (for me) music to which, until now, I would never have had access.

But the marketer in me sees the death of nostalgia marketing. For whatever reason, music has a unique ability to trigger emotions. I have memories of listening to the hit songs of 70s rock bands through the crackly AM band on my dad’s transistor radio. Songs from the 80s spark general memories of my college years.

It is because of this phenomenon that you see the nostalgia marketing of music compilation CDs from a given era through late night infomercials replete with your "hosts" saying remember when all the time. I couldn’t find an actual example on YouTube, but this is a clever spoof of those infomercials that gets the idea across:

Specific songs recall specific events and that phenomenon will remain. But because the channels through which we hear music are now practically infinite–terrestrial-, Internet-, and HD-radio stations, television, YouTube, music blogs and podcasts, our phones and video games–the concept of a broadly popular music star is fading away.

The same dynamic will likely hold true for movies and television programming.

With no broadly popular music star or movie or television show, the common touchstone, the shared experience of liking the similar thing that makes nostalgia marketing work, is eliminated. Is, then, nostalgia marketing viable? I think not. At least not on a broad scale.

Similar Posts:

email
6 comments
Russ
Russ

Wow. You are very out of touch with contemporary pop culture, instant nostalgia and general marketing patterns. Nostalgia marketing is huge, and even works on Gen Yers who are too young to remember the 60s let alone the 80s. Get current!

Russ
Russ

Wow. You are very out of touch with contemporary pop culture, instant nostalgia and general marketing patterns. Nostalgia marketing is huge, and even works on Gen Yers who are too young to remember the 60s let alone the 80s. Get current!

David Erickson
David Erickson

Max, That's a good point about the videos being online and available on-demand, ready to be viewed when something triggers the memory. I guess my point is more that because there is essentially no longer a mass media, the cultural cues that define an era, and thus creating a shared nostalgia, are no longer possible.

David Erickson
David Erickson

Max, That's a good point about the videos being online and available on-demand, ready to be viewed when something triggers the memory. I guess my point is more that because there is essentially no longer a mass media, the cultural cues that define an era, and thus creating a shared nostalgia, are no longer possible.

Max Lowe
Max Lowe

Dave, I'm not sure you're entirely correct in suggesting nostalgia marketing is dead. I think, like most things struggling to survive today, it's just taken on a more innovative face. With technology and the internet comes a much faster pace of life. For consumers today, nostalgia no longer refers to last decade...it often refers to last week! Consider how digital cameras revolutionized the photo industry - instead of taking photos to store in an album that you look at 10 years from now, you snap a shot at the bar with your cell phone and upload it to Facebook. There you're storing thousands of Kodak moments 'for posterity', which really means you can flip back through them when you're bored. On a broader scale, you can look at the success some bands have had with viral marketing. Whether is OK Go or William Hung, these people have made an broad an indelible impression on the internet. They remain a memory in the minds of the millions who have seen their viral content and, more importantly, the ad is 'always on'. Instead of using infomercials to tug at the nostalgia heart strings, any time a wave of interest revives one of these videos, traffic will undoubtedly spike. Max Lowe http://maxlowe.net

Max Lowe
Max Lowe

Dave, I'm not sure you're entirely correct in suggesting nostalgia marketing is dead. I think, like most things struggling to survive today, it's just taken on a more innovative face. With technology and the internet comes a much faster pace of life. For consumers today, nostalgia no longer refers to last decade...it often refers to last week! Consider how digital cameras revolutionized the photo industry - instead of taking photos to store in an album that you look at 10 years from now, you snap a shot at the bar with your cell phone and upload it to Facebook. There you're storing thousands of Kodak moments 'for posterity', which really means you can flip back through them when you're bored. On a broader scale, you can look at the success some bands have had with viral marketing. Whether is OK Go or William Hung, these people have made an broad an indelible impression on the internet. They remain a memory in the minds of the millions who have seen their viral content and, more importantly, the ad is 'always on'. Instead of using infomercials to tug at the nostalgia heart strings, any time a wave of interest revives one of these videos, traffic will undoubtedly spike. Max Lowe http://maxlowe.net