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The Power of Nostalgia


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Written by: Doug Thoreson | Koski Research

May 2nd, was touted as the best sports day of the year, with events spanning from noon until night, all labeled as “must-see.” It’s easy to see why this is the case too – just take a look at the schedule:

  • Rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft – for a country that can’t get enough of the NFL, the draft is always a reprieve from the non-football months
  • Yankees vs. Red Sox – your traditional rivalry game
  • Round 2 of the NHL playoffs – multiple games from both the Western and Eastern conference for all hockey fans to enjoy
  • Game 7 of the Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs series – in what’s being touted as the greatest first-round series in NBA history, this was even the best game in the series

Those events alone would have made for a great sports day, but they weren’t even the two most anticipated events of the day. How could the NFL – in a country that cannot get enough football in their lives – and the NBA – currently experiencing a wealth of superstars unlike any point in its history – play second fiddle to anything on a big sports day?

On Saturday, the two most powerful sports in our national consciousness ceded the spotlight to a horse race and a boxing match.

What year is it, 1935?

The buzz and excitement surrounding the Kentucky Derby and the Pacquiao – Mayweather fight are a good reminder that not all that is old is forgotten – and often times can be more powerful than the allure of the future.

The NFL spends countless hours and dollars marketing, and the NBA pours time and effort into its apps and social media campaigns, yet the biggest events of the most exciting sports day were driven by nostalgia and simplicity – sports from a different era.

In a time where all customer engagement is focused on having the newest features or the most up-to-date technology, the power of nostalgia and simplicity can get lost sometimes.

Nostalgia has driven many different groups to bring back old products recently:

  • Coca-Cola brought back Surge for sale on last September
  • General Mills brought back French Toast Crunch in December after being off store shelves for nearly a decade
  • Revlon, Herbal Essences, and many other beauty & makeup companies have brought back discontinued products due to popular demand

While Millennials may be the most tech-savvy of all generations to date, don’t underestimate the nostalgia factor – as powerful as the allure of the future can be, sometimes the comfort of the past is even better.


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