The power of nostalgia. Or not.

A couple of days ago I received a tweet from a friend linking to the new Internet Explorer ad ‘Child of the 90’s’.

Child of the 90’s is a very engaging video that got me tweeting backwards and forwards about having a basin hair cut, remembering POG’s (and the fights they used to cause at school) and generally reminiscing about all the different things that pop up in the video. Looking at the amount of tweets, articles and blog posts about this ad, it seems to have generated a good bit of coverage and discussion, racking up over five million YouTube views in four days. All of this got me thinking about nostalgia and its power in advertising. According to Don Draper (yes I am using a fictional character to demonstrate a point), using nostalgia in advertising can create or highlight a deep bond between consumer and product.

The Robert Heath book ‘The hidden power of advertising’ argues that most advertising is processed at an emotional level rather than a rational level and this is obviously the effect that the Internet Explorer Child of the 90’s video was going for.

I love tripping down memory lane as much as the next person but this video isn’t going to make me ‘Reconnect with the new Internet Explorer’, and I don’t think it’s enough to make the wider internet browsing public do so either. I am, however, open to being proved wrong when Internet Explorer announces that it’s the top internet browser based on the success of this campaign… But I don’t think that will happen.