Nostalgia and diversity: the ins and outs of new marketing trends

15 October 2018 - 07:00 By Thango Ntwasa
Group of women working together, to share their inputs on the ins and outs of marketing.
Group of women working together, to share their inputs on the ins and outs of marketing.
Image: 123RF/Rob Marmion.

In an era run by woke millennials with an expectation for representation, more businesses are trying harder to ensure their consumers are loyal to what their selling.

In comes nostalgic and diversity marketing. Ogilvy strategic planner Qamani Nyewe describes nostalgic marketing as using memories to drive modern campaigns. Diversity marketing, on the other hand, allows businesses to become more inclusive as a means of connecting with their consumers.

While a number of brands have found success using nostalgic or diversity marketing, others have experienced a backlash. Nyewe attributes this to a lack of authenticity.

“In an effort to be on the cusp of the culture or of black Twitter, brands often create campaigns just to be topical. When it comes to nostalgic marketing, one of the disadvantages would be having the brand seem dated.”

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University lecturer and graphics programme director Inge Economou notes that the pursuit for representation can often result in self-objectification. The sexualisation of women’s bodies may lead some women to compare themselves to an idealised concept of their bodies. As a result, they underplay their intellectual and agentic roles.

So how can one best implement the two forms of marketing? For Nyewe, it’s about remaining as authentic as possible, with both a brand and its agency doing thorough research into its market.

Economou says “image makers” such as creative directors or photographers need to be aware of the power they wield and work towards social good rather than just making a profit.

“Racial, sexual and gender diversity, as well as diversity in thinking and being, needs to be considered in putting together media-industry teams of professionals. Diverse representation is important in the industry itself as a crucial starting point,” says Economou.