Remember When? How the Past Can Be a Great Present!

Ever driven down the road and a song plays on the radio that takes you back to a place and time in your past? Then suddenly you realize an involuntary smile warmly envelops your face? How about hearing a phrase, sniffing a smell or seeing an image that transports you back to a moment of pure happiness or comfort?  Maybe your mind warps you to when things were simpler?  Perhaps it is a song from the 80’s or a vintage Coca-Cola ad that sparks this reaction. Where do you go?  Is it senior prom or summers at grandma’s house?

Major brands have tapped into the idea of using nostalgia in their advertising to deliver their message, and some have seen enormous success from time warp. Many experts say brands tap into the memories of consumers because it takes them to a happy time in their lives and creates a sense of comfort – especially during times of economic uncertainty.

Here is some brainfood from outside the credit union system:

Pepsi Throwback:  

Pepsi teamed up with Atari and Facebook for a well-executed and successful campaign.  They brought back the old Pepsi designed cans and invited people to go out to their Facebook page to play classic Atari games like Asteroids and Missile Command (some of you are probably going back to childhood at this very moment) for a chance to win a monthly prize.

They were very consistent in their efforts; even their Facebook page mirrored the campaign 100%.  Their posts would have things like Christmas sweaters that were popular in the 80s, Hungry Hungry Hippos etc. to connect consumers with happy memories and the brand.


When you think back to your own kids or grandkids or even pulled photos of you as a young toddler – chances are Cheerios are in the photo.  For many of us, it was one of our first snacks as a baby.  In a more recent ad, Cheerios touted itself as “The First Finger Food.”

Facebook & Volkswagon:

Facebook and Volkswagon Netherlands partnered to create a campaign where Facebook fans were encouraged to vote for a design of a Volkswagon T1 Fanwagon that was customized with Facebook components. For example, the vehicle was equipped with a license plate that could change a relationship status and the dashboard would deliver your Facebook newsfeed.  At the end of the campaign, one lucky winner became the owner of the Fanwagon vehicle. Click here to watch the video

Credit unions have the opportunity to tap into similar emotions by using nostalgia to connect happy memories of the past with future purchase intent.

Next time you’re in brainstorming mode for the next big campaign at your credit union, turn it to the oldies station, and ask yourself, “Where’s the Beef”?

Lisa Moore

Lisa Moore

Lisa formerly served as Marketing Manager for Pioneer West Virginia Federal Credit Union before becoming a partner at gira{ph}. At her previous post with Pioneer, she helped spearhead an ... Web: Details