We’re back with the final blog post for our three-part series “Now That’s What I Call Millennial Marketing!” In our last installment, we’re talking music, politics and TV. But before we get there, let’s talk for a minute on why throwback marketing is a strong angle for both the marketer and the Millennial.
For marketers, the notion of using “the past” as a forward-thinking marketing tactic goes against their traditional way of thinking. Throwback marketing presents a fun challenge, since now marketing teams are encouraged to think about where their brand has been and not just where it’s going. Companies are opening their vaults and repurposing products that have lived in our collective memories rather than on store shelves for the past few decades.
For Millennials, you can have the upper edge in an interview or a new job by referring to the importance of throwback marketing in the workplace. Show up the competition by being relevant and forward-thinking. You have an advantage by being right in the age category marketers are aiming to reach. Speak up, and inspire your team to pay attention to how and why this type of marketing works, and how your company can get on board with the trend.
Here are some brands who are going above and beyond weekly #ThrowbackThursday posts and creating more engaging and entertaining marketing opportunities that hit our heartstrings.
- Nineties pop princess Britney Spears was hot, then not, and is now back and on fire. She’s restored her pop reputation with four years of successful stints in Vegas and a new album release headed our way. She’s gone from schoolgirl to soccer mom and reminding fans that “Britney’s back, b***ches!”
- This month marked the 25th anniversary of Nirvana’s grunge revolution “Nevermind,” which is still lauded as one of the greatest albums of all-time. Magazines ran a photo of the now-grown baby on the album cover recreating his underwater shoot - clothes on. SiriusXM’s “Lithium” channel also got on board with all-day nostalgic Nirvana coverage.
- Taylor Swift isn’t “shaking off” her popularity with Millennials anytime soon. A brilliant marketer, Swift named her newest hit album “1989” which appropriately had a polaroid picture as its cover design. Swift told her fans that she wanted to recreate the fun and carefree feeling of ‘80s pop music for a new generation. It worked, because “1989” went on to shatter records and win Album of the Year at the Grammy’s.
- We’ve apparently gone back to the days of Reaganism and Rubik’s Cubes. The names “Trump” and “Clinton” are synonymous with the ‘80s and ‘90s, and even though the times have changed, the big players haven’t. As Politico Magazine said about the duo, it’s like the “Eighties are running against the Nineties.”
- Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” is allegedly a riff off of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 slogan “Let’s Make America Great Again.”
- By possibly having a “Clinton” back in the White House, time capsuled topics such as Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers, Russia, and racial tensions are back to shaping our cultural conversations.
- If Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and John Carpenter had a love child, it would be “Stranger Things.” This 8-part Netflix standout incorporates so many ‘80s pop culture and cinematic references that you’d think you stumbled on a show made 30-years-ago. From the ITC Benguiat font used in the opening credits to the haunting synth-inspired soundtrack, watching “Stranger Things” is like stepping into your own “Upside-Down.” A darker Season Two is set to return in 2017.
- The “Full House” reboot “Fuller House” has found a new home on Netflix after a successful run on ABC from 1987-1995. The tightknit Tanner clan is all grown up and facing adult-centric life lessons that resonate with their now older fan base. It’s working, since the show averaged 14.4 million viewers in its first 35 days. That’s a bigger audience than “The Walking Dead.” Season Two will premiere on December 9th. Have Mercy!
- For a show that only aired from 1990-91, “Twin Peaks” created a cult following who are still asking, “Who killed Laura Palmer?” David Lynch is continuing the “Twin Peaks” saga on Showtime in 2017. Over 25 years later, fans still long for a “damn fine cup of coffee,” a slice of sweet cherry pie, and the most bizarre residents in this eerie fictional town.
Honorable Mentions: Here’s a snack-sized shout-out to some more remakes and reboots that are definitely worth mentioning.
- IT - This thriller based on a 1986 Stephen King novel and 1990 miniseries isn’t clowning around. A remake of the terrifying story about Pennywise, a killer clown who eats children, still haunts our dreams...and sewers everywhere.
- Lethal Weapon - Back when Mel Gibson rocked a mullet, he starred in the hit buddy-cop “Lethal Weapon.” The film franchise has been remade into a TV series starring Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford.
- MacGyver - You don’t have to be a trained airline pilot to stop a plane. Just use tinfoil! MacGyver 2.0 still has action-packed tricks up its sleeve but has been updated for a more technologically savvy 2016 audience.
- MTV Classic - A new channel dedicated to all things ‘90s MTV including Total Request Live, Beavis & Butt-head, MTV Unplugged, and more.
- Powerpuff Girls - Cartoon Network brought back the trio of superpower sisters who fight crime with a cutesy feminist edge.
- Son of Zorn - Take the hulky cartoon He-man and hurl him into a live action, modern world, and that’s Fox’s new sitcom “Son of Zorn.” The storyline may fall as flat as ‘80s animation, but it’s a fun concept that hits home for many Saturday Morning Cartoons kids.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - These pizza-loving, crime fighting turtles may be kicking butt on the big screen, but they got their start on TV and in movies from 1987-1996. Despite the summer slump of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” the whopping merchandise sales alone will ensure more sequels to come.
It’s been a wild ride looking at the cool stuff that brands are doing to breathe new life into the ‘80s and ‘90s. There is certainly an audience that is hungry for all the feels of nostalgia. Whether it’s fashion, food or film, the power marketing plays in our daily lives is as unstoppable as a Delorean going 88 miles per hour.
Click to read Part One and Part Two of “Now That’s What I Call Millennial Marketing!”
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