McDonald's Nostalgia Advertising

Nostalgic Ads – Do They Really Work?

In this week’s blog post, I will be describing four brands and their effectiveness at evoking nostalgia in their advertisements. In addition, I will recreate the Budweiser advertisement to intensify the feeling of nostalgia for my generation. *Note: All of these images were found publicly on Google and are not intended to infringe upon the rights of any brand represented.


McDonald's Nostalgia Advertising

I believe this ad does a great job at evoking nostalgia, particularly for an older generation target market. The ad showcases a past year, “1955,” and it also highlights the original price of a McDonald’s burger (15 cents!) in 1955. Likewise, the ad includes old architecture of the golden arches hanging over a drive-in style restaurant.

The Green Giant    

The Green Giant's Nostalgia AdvertisingAnother brand that chose to market one of its advertisements with a nostalgia theme is the Green Giant. While many consumers may know the Green Giant’s brand as synonymous with green beans, I’m willing to bet most consumers do not know the history of the brand. This ad captures the integrity of the brand by letting consumers know it’s been around for a long time and has not changed its core value of providing nutritional vegetables that help you grow big and strong. Furthermore, it creates a feeling of nostalgia with older consumers who have known the brand for many years.


Budweiser Nostalgia Advertisement

While McDonald’s and the Green Giant’s ads do an excellent job of taking the consumer way back to the brands’ roots, Budweiser’s ad focuses on a particular decade in America’s pastime: the 80’s! This ad centralizes on subtle cues that work together as a whole to re-create a fun and lively time from the brand’s history. The bright colors, cool shades, and large earrings tell a story from Generation X’s memory. Likewise, the old, plastic cup design relates to concerts, parties, and live events that occurred during the decade. While this ad may not resonate so well with millennials and younger generations, it certainly hits home with its target audience, Generation X.

In order to make this ad nostalgic to my generation (millennials), I would redesign the image to mirror a persona from my life’s experiences. An example could be accessorizing the model with college memorabilia or fashion from my 20’s and changing the plastic cup to a can or beer bottle. The change in the actual product would be relevant to me as most social gatherings in my 20’s involve cans or bottles of beer.

CoppertoneCoppertone Nostalgia Advertisement

When I started thinking of nostalgic advertisements, the first brand to pop in my mind was Coppertone. The brand’s advertisement on the right has remained tantamount with its name – so much so that the image is often replicated in the media and in families’ lives as having a “Coppertone butt.” I am sure that at the time this ad creative was originally presented to the marketplace, it was a huge success. The real success here, however, is that a single ad campaign became the defining image of a brand name and is parallel to sunscreen products and beach-time adventures everywhere.


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Advertising & marketing aficionado | Movie enthusiast | Cat lover | Coffee infatuate | Passionate creator

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