Kids Of The 90s Are Nostalgic, And Nickelodeon Satisfies Their Longing

The 90s Are All ThatNa na na-na-na; the opening credits to Nickelodeon’s hit 90s show “Clarissa Explains It All” (1991-1994) begins. A teenage Melissa Joan Hart pops up onscreen in a crop top and high ponytail as retro graphics and the all too familiar theme song introduces an episode of one of Gen Y’s favorite shows. Comfort TV is back in all its glory for today’s college students and 20-somethings to enjoy. Crop tops are cool again, but even more popular is this retro programming. In fact, it’s “all that!”

Last week, Nickelodeon debuted “The 90s Are All That,” its wildly successful new programming block, where hit shows from “the good old days” are played weekdays from 12am – 4am. The name refers to the network’s sketch comedy show “All That” (1994-2005) and couldn’t be more fitting. After one night, it became evident that this late night block of 90s shows — which currently includes “All That,” “Kenan & Kel” (1996-2000), “Clarissa Explains It All,” and “Doug” (1991-1994) — is the best idea since orange soda. Nickelodeon currently leads with 7-17 year olds, but this addition marks a major change in attracting young adults.

During the programming block’s premiere on Monday, July 25, “The 90s” reached ratings 850% higher than the channel’s previous average in the 12am – 2am block according to Nielsen Media Research. All four shows in the lineup were among the top 10 programs on basic cable for the night, averaging 555,000 total viewers. Millennials tend to stay up late, so they’re grateful for this alternative to late night talk shows.

Moreover, Nickelodeon references flooded the Twittersphere earning the network an impressive 20 worldwide trending topics. “The 90s Are All That” Facebook page reached 200,000 fans overnight, double what…

 
 
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Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream' I think…A loaded term that is meaningless these days. At this point, I'd be happy if I can manage to live a mostly comfortable, independent life. Is that The American Dream? I don't know.” –Male, 25, PA

When it comes to kids using tablets and smartphones, most of the attention is given to the dangers of it all: what will it do to their attention spans, their minds, or their health? But there are potential positives to their mobile use as well. One (Millennial) mom’s reasons for continuing to give her kids handheld devices include the importance of encouraging their technology and problem solving skills, expectations that they will know how to use them in school, and a hope that her girls will be involved in tech in their futures. (Hip Mombrarian)

This might be the year that vending machines became a full blown marketing trend, and Nike has put their own athletic spin on the tactic. Their recent “secret” vending machine in NYC, the Nike+ FuelBox, dispensed products like hats, shirts, and socks that visitors could only pay for with daily points from their Nike+ FuelBands, encouraging exercise in exchange for goods. (Engadget)

We’ve seen FoMo, the rise and fall of YOLO, and now social media has given us MoMo, the “Mystery of Missing Out.” Unlike FoMo, Fear of Missing Out when you see your friends posting a ton of fun pictures on social media, MoMo is the anxiety that results when friends stop posting. In the words of one Millennial, “’what can be so good that they aren't posting?’” It might seem silly to some, but for a generation used to being connected with friends nearly all the time, the feeling of exclusion that results from being left out and unaware of what’s happening is real. (Jezebel)

The value of higher education is already being questioned by Millennials, and evidence is continuing to mount that college systems and hierarchies need to be rethought. One former Yale professor is making headlines by telling parents not to send their kids to Ivy League schools, and that those who attend are not the “winners in the race we have made of childhood” but that instead elite education produces “anxious, timid, and lost” young people. (New Republic)

Oh, Barbie. She's had a rough year, and Mattel recently released an Entrepreneur Barbie in an attempt to tap into girl power marketing, and revive flagging sales. But is the reality that Barbie is just too perfect for today’s kids? The brand’s offbeat, weirdo Monster High dolls do far better than pristine, “clean cut” blond icon. Tapping into new trends in toy tech and giving Barbie a renewed sense of “imaginative play” might help, but at the same time post-Millennials, like the generation before them, could be turned off by anything that doesn’t show some flaws. (The StarPhoenix)

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream’ I think of 1950s cliches, the economic downturn of 2008, and how college debt has pretty much made it impossible.” –Female, 17, RI

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