Seasonal Nostalgia Marketing

When December rides in on its merry sleigh, seasonal nostalgia marketing is just the thing to captivate consumers. Welcome the Ghost of Christmas Past to centerstage, with it a flurry of nostalgia.

Here are some ways you can incorporate nostalgia into your ads this holiday season:

Rekindle youth

For many of us, the holiday season is a time of reflection, of thinking back to our garlanded childhood celebrations and traditions, as discussed in our previous nostalgia marketing blog. We experience every year of our youth as one distinct feeling: nostalgia.

To revive the child in your consumers, spark reminiscence. Remember when you'd look out the window for Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve? Tired eyes are no match for wonder. Maybe in a holiday-themed ad, you could have a child peering up at the stars, a sleigh flying by with bags of your product inside.

Our childhood memories are also entwined with the movies we watch during the holidays.

In last year's Chase Freedom Unlimited Christmas commercial, humor and nostalgia were happily married during an homage to Home Alone. Catherine O'Hara loses Kevin again, but this time it's Kevin Hart, not her son. She calls it a "holiday tradition," prompting flashbacks to the original 90s movie.

Recall old toys

As we grow up, Christmas becomes more about the quality time with friends and family, rather than receiving gifts, but toss out an old toy reference, and you'll be sure to pique someone's interest.

If you're of the same demographic as me, age-wise, some of the following toys might stir up nostalgia in you, possibly coupled with fragmented images of playing with them: Bop It, My Little Pony, Silly Putty, Tamagotchi, View-Master, etc.

Just typing out those toys brings forth a wave of nostalgia. I can even picture the View-Master containing images of dinosaurs I had as a kid. A modern day ad featuring a View-Master would hook me because of the sepia-toned memories



To successfully harness the nostalgic powers of old toys, you need to know your audience. Say you're targeting current high-schoolers. You won't garner much of a reaction if you bring up the aforementioned toys. Instead, figure out what the toys of their early childhood were and get to work.

Evoke nostalgia through storytelling

Storytelling and Christmas go together like hot chocolate and whipped cream. When we think Christmas, we think the Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and so on.

The magic of the season is inextricable from its stories.

If you celebrate Christmas, I bet you know several lines of these tales by heart. "'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." That opening must have warmed your heart at least a little, such is the strength of a holiday story.

By employing storytelling, you can immerse consumers in the nostalgic world you're creating, centered around your company.

What else tells a story? A song.

From Silent Night to Frosty the Snowman, the list of longstanding holiday classics is a lengthy one, any a good choice to liven up and nostalgia-fy your ad.

If your ad doesn't involve sound or video, simply borrow and bend the lyrics to best suit your brand.

Put a twinkle in consumers' eyes with seasonal nostalgia marketing this Christmastime.

Create seasonal, Instagram-style digital stories for your brand with STORYSOFT. Learn more.

Book a Demo

See how to bring personalized digital experiences to life for your brand

   During the call you will: 

  • Hear how it works
  • See example digital Stories
  • Walk through the analytics
  • Get your questions answered

Leave a Comment