April 14, 2013 - 1 comment.

Advertising Nostalgia

I had the TV on in the background a few days ago. It was half time in the Barca vs PSG match and the adverts were on. The usual audio drivel of car insurance, quick cash and double glazed windows ads were on loop - You know the one you buy one one get one free, I say YOU BUY ONE GET ONE FREE. Then it went quiet, there was a sound of rain and then bird song. No Z-list celeb telling me how easy it is to borrow £500 and repay £30000 over the next 3 years and no 'we buy any car' song. This made me look up.

As soon as I saw it I smiled. It was the Kit Kat dancing Panda's ad. Now I wasn't smiling because I love Kit Kats or Pandas (Double Decker and Crocodiles if you're wondering), but it made me feel like a kid again. I watched it, smiled again then went back to my work as Asda starting telling me how crap Morrisons and Sainsbury's are.


This advert obviously had an effect on me, as a few days later I mentioned to Dave if he'd seen the ad. I wouldn't normally choose adverts as the subject of conversation so why this? I looked into the ad and it was first aired in 1987! It was re-used in 1996, 17 years ago, which would have made me 9. I watched the ad again on youtube - it's so simple compared to todays efforts. No talk-over voice, no special effects (yes I know it's 26 years old) 2 blokes in Panda costumes on roller skates and an underlying slice of humour. It's funny, memorable and sells the product.

So why did Rowntree's recycle the ad all this time later? The nostalgic effect. They could have created something similar using modern technology, but that wouldn't have made me feel like a kid again. These days, there are hundreds of different chocolate bars to buy, 17 years ago the choice was a lot more limited. You walk into a shop and are faced with a wall of different choices. A normal Kit Kat isn't the most exciting of options (Kit Kat Chunky is a different story) but the nostalgic response could quite easily lead me to buy on impulse.

The king of nostalgic advertising has to be Coca Cola. People use their advert as a benchmark of when Christmas has 'officially' begun! Now Coca Cola have been clever, as they have created newer digital versions, but the core stays the same. 'Holidays are coming' song, same bright trucks, same warm glow inside.


So what's the point of all this? Well it's an excellent method for advertising. Playing on a persons emotional response is key, especially with low value impulse buys. If you're buying a new TV, you're not going to be persuaded because Sony started rolling out a 15 year old ad - you spend a bit of time researching something of value, but when you're out and about and buy a snack or a drink, you may subconsciously choose a product through advertising.

We've just done a very similar thing for Fancie Cupcakes. How do you add some fun and humour into choosing a flavour of cupcake - Fancie fortune tellers. Back in the day you'd mess around with these at school - nostalgic response.


This method of advertising isn't for everyone, but when done right is a welcome change to what everyone else is doing.

Right, I'm off for a Snickers and a Pepsi.

Published by: Oliver in Creative


Danny Andrews
April 15, 2013 at 9:14 pm

This is actually really really good.

Nice one Ol

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