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Aspirational Consumers Turn Nostalgic

By: Miriam Quart
Posted: April 7, 2011, from the April 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Men have become a relevant target for nostalgia marketing. The recent Pert Plus marketing campaign focused on dad as hero to present him as a pivotal player in the household. Creating a campaign for the 2-in-1 pioneer brand was a challenge in a category chock full of product lines for every hair type. The campaign leverages the already loyal follower, men, and positioned the brand for the whole family … a simple, effective hair brand to “Get hair that’s all Plus without the fuss with Pert Plus.” [More on this effort is available in Case Study: Reviving Personal Care Brands, both online and in the March 2011 issue of GCI magazine.]

Levi’s jeans is yet another example of a nostalgic men’s brand that has surfaced after a short marketing hiatus. With its “Go Forth” campaign, the Levi’s name gets back to its brand essence as a working man’s jean that is re-building America in the declining economy. By leveraging the heritage of its brand, Levi’s jeans is smartly looking to connect with today’s consumers who can remember what the brand represented in their homes and neighborhood. While the brand tried its hand in the fashion jeans segment, the Levi’s jeans are now distributed at Walmart, making them more believable and authentic in talking to the workers of the new American economic drives.

Fitting a New Outlook

According to a Dec. 23, 2010, feature in The New York Times, many forecasters and policy makers, due to rising consumer confidence, have expressed renewed optimism that the economic recovery will gain substantial momentum in 2011. However, marketers know consumer purchasing habits do not change overnight. Consumers will continue to seek out back-to-basics brands that fit their new outlook in the current economy. Keep your eyes peeled for a continued nostalgic theme in brands and campaigns that take consumers back to those feel good days and re-connect with consumers like an old friend.

Miriam Quart is president and founder of Madison Avenue Consortium, a virtual advertising and marketing agency that specializes in creating customized marketing communications and advertising campaigns. She has more than 15 years of executive experience working with beauty, consumer electronics, airline, financial services and cable television brands. The agency’s virtual model is designed to offer quality results with quicker turnaround at lower cost than the traditional agency model. www.maconsortium.com; miriam@maconsortium.com; 1-347-489-7449.