Unlocking the Power of Nostalgia: Using DAM to Rekindle Brand Connections

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The BBC published an article discussing how nostalgia might “be even more compelling” in a post-pandemic world than it was before 2020. They’re not the only ones raving about nostalgia marketing; experts in the field of marketing and psychology alike are singing its praises.   The idea behind nostalgia marketing is simple yet incredibly powerful. Nostalgia usually creates feelings of happiness and warmth. When consumers are in this state, they’re much more likely to make purchases.    In marketing, “nostalgia” is defined as a bittersweet longing for the past. Businesses leverage this emotion to create a connection between their brand and consumers. It’s not just about appealing to fond memories of long-gone eras; it’s about showing how the brand’s products or services can bring back those positive emotions and experiences.    Whether it’s McDonald’s Grimace’s Birthday campaign stirring up memories of PlayPlace birthday parties or Microsoft’s Gen Y-centered ad featuring the infamous Internet Explorer, nostalgia has been at the forefront of successful marketing campaigns.   But do you need a platform where you can store all your nostalgia-related content? That’s where a digital asset management (DAM) system comes in.  

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The Role of Brand Connections in Nostalgia

Quite a few studies have found that brand marketing can arouse emotions in consumers. Similarly, there’s scientific evidence to prove that customers no longer only focus on the functionality of a product. They also want to ensure that their emotional preferences and psychological needs are met by a product or service.  


When brands tap into nostalgia, they’re targeting a specific emotional need of the consumer. An example is Tinder’s collaboration with Jonathan Bennett, the Mean Girls actor known for the TikTok-viral line “What day is it?” from the movie. The campaign aimed to remind users of their teenage years and the excitement of flirting, with Tinder’s platform being the perfect place to relive those experiences and create new ones. 


The McDonald’s example noted earlier has similar undertones. Many millennials remember Grimace from their childhood, especially the birthday parties at McDonald’s with the iconic Happy Meal toy. By bringing back Grimace in their marketing campaigns, McDonald’s evoked positive associations and fond memories in their target audience.


We see the same formula in action elsewhere, too. For instance, many of us relate Atari to our childhood gaming experiences. Indiana Jones and Star Wars are synonymous with adventure, Mattel products were every kid’s dream, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were our heroes in a half-shell. The audience’s past associations with these brands mean there will always be a connection between both parties.


How Does Digital Asset Management (DAM) Assist Brands in Nostalgia Marketing

Digital asset management means managing all digital assets in one centralized location. Brands use a digital asset management system to organize all their digital data, especially for marketing and other customer-centric campaigns. 


Some notable benefits of a DAM system include: 


  • Centralized access  

  • Easy management of large-scale data 

  • Scalability and flexibility for future growth 

  • Enhanced security features 

  • Streamlined approvals 

  • Permission-based access


Besides storing and organizing digital assets, DAM software also allows easy distribution and retrieval. For instance, you can set a marketing asset approval workflow. The DAM platform will then allow you to approve, reject, or give feedback on assets before they’re released.


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Utilizing DAM to Capture and Preserve Nostalgic Content

DAM and nostalgia marketing go together because the former streamlines the latter. Let’s say you have to create a nostalgia-based holiday ad for your retail brand. How does DAM help? 


  • Asset Creation and Storage: All the campaign-related content, such as images and videos, can be stored in the DAM system. 

  • Collaboration: The marketing team doesn’t have to go back and forth via email. Instead, they can access DAM to collaborate on ideas and make comments. 

  • Version Control: The team can easily access past versions of assets, ensuring consistency in branding and messaging. 

  • Easy Retrieval: With tags and metadata, assets are easy to retrieve when needed for future campaigns. 


Uber Eats tapped into the nostalgia of millennial audiences and aimed to generate excitement around local restaurants by featuring beloved local access show hosts and rockers Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar in their Super Bowl 2021 commercial. The iconic duo from the 1992 classic Wayne’s World appealed to millennial sentiments while also incorporating a modern twist with a cameo from the Gen Z sensation Cardi B.


The videos from this campaign were also uploaded on YouTube. A DAM system would allow Uber Eats to store the raw footage, edited videos, video script, and all other campaign elements.


Rekindling Brand Connections

Brands can take different routes to rekindle connections. For instance, they may use vintage typography or visual effects. Similarly, nostalgic music, classic jingles, past slogans, old-fashioned clothing, vintage product references, and beloved celebrity cameos also work wonders. 


The common denominator in all these elements is that there’s always a digital asset. After all, most marketing content goes on digital platforms these days. 


A DAM platform makes it easy for businesses to build brand connections by providing a central hub for all assets. Marketers can segment content based on the digital platform for which it’s intended. They can also set up permissions to make sure only authorized personnel access important information.


Most importantly, DAM software allows you to retain authenticity even in nostalgia marketing. For example, you can have an approval workflow in which experienced team members have to review assets before they are published. Such a system will keep the brand true to its roots, irrespective of the marketing content.


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Measuring Impact with DAM Analytics

Is your nostalgia content delivering on its intended purpose? Common objectives for nostalgia marketing are increasing brand awareness, building brand loyalty, customer engagement, and shedding a positive light on the brand. But how do you know if this is working? 


DAM analytics provide quantitative data to measure the impact of nostalgia marketing campaigns. Most DAM platforms have a dedicated analytics dashboard to help measure campaign performance.


You can conduct sentiment analysis and follow the engagement levels of your content. Even better, you can also track conversions and identify which types of nostalgic content perform better with your target audience. The extent to which you can gauge campaign performance will depend on the features of your digital asset management software.


Frequently Asked Questions

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