My 11 year-old knows all the words to Foghat’s “Slow Ride”. He also can play along perfectly to “American Woman” by the Guess Who and several Nirvana songs that pre-date him by seven years.
My 14 year-old believes we should pre-order “Rock Band: Beatles”. He eagerly downloaded an app for his iPod Touch that allows him to play vintage arcade games like Pac Man, Space Invaders, and Frogger.
Meanwhile, they talk about Chuck Norris, wear t-shirts that look like they were made at Woodstock, and watch commercials for McDonalds and Pepsi that feel like they emerged straight from my youth of the 1970′s.
Did you see the latest TV campaign for Mexican beer Dos Equis? Very retro.
What is old is new again.
Is it because of the recession? When times are tough do we turn back the clock to things we know are safe and reliable? Not just safe products, but safe auras within the marketing message?
This piece from the United Airlines in-flight magazine “Hemispheres” says yes. http://www.hemispheresmagazine.com/2009/06/01/remembrance-of-cocoa-puffs-past/
Certainly the recession is a factor is at play in retro-marketing. But my kids don’t really know or care if we are in recession.
I think they are discovering timeless products (Beatles, Guess Who, Frogger) and marketing that speaks to them in a fresh way. The retro marketing is so dramatically different from what they have been exposed to in their youth that it actually cuts through into their mind faster than most traditional marketing.
And the case could be made that the retro-marketing look and feel seems somehow more authentic than the slick marketing of today.
Finally, exposure to YouTube is probably a major factor. YouTube has democratized video in such a way to make retro and amateur video more believable than the slick commercials on TV.
Are there elements of your brand’s past that could be revisited?
Have you done research with your customers to determine what about your product initially attracted them to you, years ago?
Is there a retro look and feel you can give to your marketing message that makes it more human and honest?