Consumers Turn to Nostalgic Comforts During Pandemic
Covid-19 has induced a cross-generational craving for the past to act as a buffer against the anxieties of the pandemic. Brands should seize this opportunity by leveraging nostalgic content to connect with worried consumers in search of solace.
- Peace-Providing Past: Turning to nostalgia is a common psychological response in times of crisis, producing feelings of comfort. A recent study found that during periods of loneliness, nostalgic thoughts help trigger a sense of social connectedness and enhance wellbeing (Frontiers, June 2020).
- To see how brands can support nostalgic pursuits at home, read Soothing Pastimes & Fresh Skills in our Social-Distancing Strategies report, and Quarantine Consumers Discover Puzzles.
- Feasting on Familiar Foods: During the outbreak, many consumers are seeking comfort and familiarity in the pantry. Thirty-seven per cent of UK consumers are revisiting dishes from their childhood in lockdown (Co-op, 2020). Traditional quick-fix packet desserts have also seen an uptick – including a 336% increase in custard powder sales (Co-op, 2020).
- See Snacking Trends 2020: Consumer Attitudes for more on pandemic-provoked eating habits.
- Throwback Entertainment Triumphs: More than half of US Gen Zers (born between 1996-2009) and millennials (born between 1981-1995) have tuned in to familiar, nostalgic TV shows and music during lockdown (MRC Data, 2020). In the week of April 1-7, music-streaming service Spotify reported a 54% increase in nostalgia-themed playlists being created (Spotify, 2020).
- Brands can engage with this trend through their musical histories. Take inspiration from Cadbury India, which resurrected a 90s jingle for its latest ad to thank consumers for their resilience during the pandemic.
- See Music in Lockdown for more on the industry’s Covid-based engagement innovations.
- Digital Retrospection Rises: Consumers are actively engaging with the nostalgia trend via social media. Tweets including “I miss” increased by 63% worldwide during lockdown, while Facebook is launching an app, E.gg, which rekindles the look and feel of early-90s internet.