Generational Target Marketing: Leveraging “Pop-Culture” in Advertising
If you were born in the 80s, you may have recently seen an increase in adverts that you can connect with. Brands are definitely l
Not sure what I’m talking about?
Take a look at Google’s recent advert for its home assistant.
The infamous Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is back, and Home Alone just got rebooted in what may have been THE Christmas Ad of 2018.
For those of us born in the 80s, we hold fond memories of the Home Alone films. They became instant, ageless classics, still enjoyed today by every generation.
Leveraging nostalgic pop-culture in advertising to Millennials is an ingenious ploy by brands. But before I get onto why it’s important to note, Google is not the only brand targeting this particular audience in this way.
Halifax in the UK went with Ghostbusters! Another classic film that gripped a generation. Slimer having a cameo made the advert for me.
And that’s not all, Halifax also played on Top Cat (remember the cartoon?) for mortgages.
And more recently, Walmart in the USA went all out and managed to pluck every heart string in a generation by including Batman, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, Knightrider, Transformers, and Back to the Future to name just a few, in a single ad.
Now here’s the important part.
Why Are Brands Using 80s Nostalgia in Their Advertising?
In short: Millennials remain a key demographic. The people that loved these “cult-classics” and grew up on them are the ideal target audience today, representing a significant proportion of the market.
They’re aged between 30-40 (give or take 5 years) which is that perfect sweet spot for companies when it comes to buyer power and disposable income. In other words, brands know that this audience demographic has more money on average than their younger counterparts.
That’s not all.
Nostalgia is an important emotional trigger.
Great B2C marketing is driven by stories that provoke emotional responses from the consumer. By associating all those good feelings and happy memories of watching the Home Alone films back in the day, with the Google Home assistant, you suddenly create an emotional engagement with the product.
Now the nostalgic memories of the cool cars that you dreamed of driving as a child — the Batmobile, the Delorian, ECTO-1 — are associated with picking up your groceries from Walmart.
Is Nostalgia Enough?
Probably not. But it’s a clever touch point from big brands that will get people talking.
Chances are, your friends have seen some of these ads, or they’ve come up in conversation with your friends at some point.
The really interesting part is, that Google Ad currently has over 39 million views on YouTube.
Doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, that’s impressive.
Everyone wants a viral ad. And although there’s no hard-and-fast rule for how to get one, this campaign hit the mark. It’s clear to see why brands are leveraging “pop-culture” in advertising.
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