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If there was a single running theme for this year’s Super Bowl ads (aside from ‘mostly safe and boring’), it was nostalgia. Ads actually felt designed with Gen X in mind for once, referencing the Safety Dance, Human League, Indiana Jones, Clueless, Michael Keaton’s Batman, Caddyshack, Zoolander, plus a Scrubs reunion of sorts.

Yellow vintage television sitting on a yellow table with darker yellow background.

As I posted on my LinkedIn: “Did anyone else watch the Super Bowl with a member of Gen Z who could not identify 75% of the spokes-celebrities?”

(My high schooler, repeatedly: “Is that your guy?” He knows I listen to the Armchair Expert podcast and thought both Bradley Cooper and Zach Braff were Dax Shepard.)

Nostalgia in advertising is obviously nothing new, but it’s a particularly effective content strategy right now. With so many consumers overwhelmed from the last several years of *everything,* bringing nostalgia into marketing content isn’t just appealing — it’s actually been shown to help people self-soothe during stressful times.

Why do we love nostalgia so much? In a nutshell, it provides a way for people to feel connected to their past and to experience a sense of comfort and familiarity — which can unfortunately be sometimes hard to find in the present day.

A few ideas for sharing nostalgic content on social media:

  • Throwback posts: Share photos, videos, or articles from the past under popular tags like #ThrowbackThursday or #FlashbackFriday, while encouraging followers to reminisce about their own memories from that time period.
  • Remake old trends: Everything old in fashion/music/TV is eventually new again: try sharing content that taps into these trends and gives them a modern twist, making it relevant and engaging to younger audiences.
  • Try retro filters and effects: Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok offer filters and effects that can make photos and videos look like they were taken in the ’80s or ’90s, adding a nostalgic touch to social media content.

Here at Sway Group, one of our most successful past campaigns involved parenting influencers sharing photos of themselves as babies with their own mothers. Nostalgia-based outreach can be an incredibly powerful tool for connecting people across generations — and fostering a sense of community and shared experiences.

Want to learn more about how we structure our influencer marketing campaigns? Contact us today about setting up a quick meeting for your team, online or in person.