If there is a perfect moment for advertising to have a blast from the past, the time is now. Creating nostalgia has always been an integral part of advertising for many brands. But, now more than ever, it seems as if the 90s are making a major comeback in 2015–and may be here to stay. The rave blog reviews and social media buzz circulating the internet has shown us that Millenials are loving the fact that brands are tapping into 90s culture. The appreciation for the return of this golden age stems from reliving memories of a better time, it connects us to a time that was “a lot less threatening and a lot more fun” explains Maude Standish, co-founder of Tarot, a Millennial trend insight company.
If you love the 90’s as much as we do, check out some of the throwback advertisements that have already reappeared in 2015.
“So Good… They’re back”
If you remember and loved Crispy M&M’s… the “irresistible” milk chocolate coated crispy center in a colorful shell, then you know the bright blue packaged candies were flying off the shelves and remember the feeling of disappointment when they were discontinued in 2005. After appearing in many blogs, tweets and articles as one of the junk foods we wish still existed, Mars Chocolate decided to release the news of the return of these beloved candies in a comical commercial targeted to their “fans”.
“Marky Mark” for Calvin Klein
We all know it, we all have seen it – The legendary Calvin Klein ad featuring Mark Wahlberg in 1992, then known as “Marky Mark”. The iconic underwear campaign showed the world a new side of the lead artist in the popular hip-hop group, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. The unforgettable ad sparked more media attention for Marky Mark than ever before and set the bar for all underwear campaigns to come. This year, the same Calvin Klein ad returns, but this time featuring chart-topping artist, Justin Bieber. With the same poses, imagery, and style this was definitely a direct mimic of the 1992 campaign and everyone noticed. The “Beliebers” weren’t the only ones going crazy. After a Saturday Night Live skit and tabloid talk, the addition of a newer school strategy to the campaign (hashtagging, #mycalvins) this instantly became one of the top-talked about ads of 2015 so far.
“Push It: It’s What You Do”
If you didn’t think of Geico when the famous hip-hop trio, Salt-n-Pepa’s billboard chart-topping hit, “Push It” came on, you definitely will now. Geico not only used the chorus of the 90s released song, but also featured the iconic music artists in their latest hilarious commercial. They cleverly reminded us that we need to push the limits in all aspects of our lives and to literally “push it”, whether it’s in a childbirth class, football training or the button to save money with the Geico app.
We’re almost certain that these won’t be the last of 90s-inspired ads to appear this year. We’ve also seen the return of the ever-popular soft drink, Surge, a Daria-(MTV hit show in the 90s) themed commercial for the limited edition of red-velvet Oreo’s and the premiere of 90s-based television sitcoms such as Hindsight and “Girl Meets World”. We’re not certain that anyone is anticipating the return of VHS and huge flip phones, but there’s a number of reasons we’d love to see more of the greatest memories in advertisement and on television. Why? Some may argue that the 90s marked the height of popular culture. During that time period, everything from music to fashion was fresh and lively. Many agree that this golden age was so dear to us because life was simply, better. The cost of living was more affordable. Many of the classic movies, tv shows, fashion trends and songs that emerged from that era still resonate in popular culture today. The quality of television improved with the appearance of “MTV Music”, “Friends”, “Sopranos” and “Fresh Prince of Belair”, shows that are still loved by the newer generations. It was before 9/11 and many of the major political wars we’re facing now, therefore, it was a time of peace and prosperity. It was also a time of innovation; Nike Air Jordans, Nintendo 64, Starbucks and the AOL screen name. The 1990s welcomed the adoption of the web, an online world that is much different than what is now. It was new enough to be exciting and because smart phones hadn’t hit the scene, people weren’t overconnected or oversaturated, the levels of use were a lot healthier.
When it comes to nostalgia, the cycle runs briefly every 20 years. The 90s early comeback is a surprise to some because nostalgia is hitting us harder and earlier than ever before. For many of us, the 1990s represent our childhood or early adulthood, when most of our first real experiences of culture, music and society took place. Experiences that we want to hold on to and will never forget.
If we didn’t share some of your favorites, we’d love to hear them. Comment below or connect with us about how we can help you bring those “good vibrations” to your brand.