What ‘90s Nostalgia Means For Your Brand

Child of the 90sAlthough the ‘90s weren’t that long ago, Millennials are nostalgic for the past. They wish for the simpler times when life wasn’t so stressful and the biggest decision was which Beanie Baby to buy. Now, they face high unemployment rates and uncertainty about their future. Understandably, they seek familiarity and reminders of a childlike state to provide them with comfort amidst confusion. What started off as retro revival as an escape from reality has quickly become a full-blown phenomenon. Millennials have a soft spot for their childhood and as a result, the return of ‘90s culture is being seen across all industries.

Everyday, it seems like there’s “breaking news” of the ‘90s popping up again. Lately, much of the buzz has been about “Girl Meets World,” the sequel to the hit show “Boy Meets World”, which will feature many of the original stars. And of course there’s the highly anticipated Package Tour featuring New Kids On The Block, 98 Degrees, and Boyz II Men. But that’s certainly not all. No Doubt recently reunited, and Destiny’s Child performed together at the Super Bowl. Matchbox 20 is back, Kriss Kross is returning, and Backstreet’s back…alright! New boy band and girl bands are also taking over, and you can’t forget the Spice Girls reunion tour a few years ago, followed up by their performance at the London Olympics. Millennials are emotionally invested in the return of the ‘90s and feel a closeness to the culture in which they grew up. They’re eager to attend these events, share ‘90s news with friends, and they look forward to the future while paying tribute to the past.

Nickelodeon jumped on this trend a while back with “The ‘90s Are All That”, a late-night block of TV shows from this decade. Even Lisa Frank is splashing color into today’s culture with an app and a limited…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I won’t buy an already-made costume to dress up in for Halloween because I am creating a punk sailor Jupiter from Sailor Moon costume for comic con and I worked really hard on it, so I will wear it any chance I can.” –Female, 21, NY

The nostalgic details and music that filled Guardians of the Galaxy were a major part of making it the superhero movie that Millennials want right now, and they’re continuing to use that nostalgia now that the film is out of theaters. The movie’s soundtrack, Awesome Mix Vol. 1, is being released as a limited edition cassette tape this November, in time for Black Friday. The fact that cassette tapes are considered by many to be a dead technology won't likely stop young consumers looking for a retro-style piece of the movie. The album has already been released as a digital download, CD, and vinyl, and is already the tenth largest selling album of 2014 so far. (Billboard)

GoldieBlox has had impressive success as a toy startup focused on promoting engineering to young girls. Now the brand is expanding into digital products with their first (free) iOS app, GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine, and Bloxtown.com, a “digital playground” of interactive games. The app teaches about animation and allows young users to create GIFs that they can then use in a physical construction set they have built themselves. (PSFK)

Some of Vine’s biggest stars are coming to TV. Rainn Wilson, of The Office and SoulPancake fame, is working on a scripted comedy that will follow five of the app’s most popular Viners ”as they try to break into Hollywood.” The show, appropriately named Hollywood and Vine, will be the first traditional TV show to have a cast of mostly Vine stars, but could benefit from their online fans: the digital stars chosen have a collective following of over 30 million. (The Verge)

Breaking Bad was a story of meth and murder that was hugely appealing to older Millennial audiences, so some parents are objecting strongly to dolls of the main characters of the show being on the shelves at Toys “R” Us. A petition to take the Walter and Jesse action figures out of the chain and moved to “an appropriate store” was started online by one Florida mom and already has over 7,000 signatures. One of the figures comes with “a sack of cash, and a bag of blue crystals”—a.k.a. toy meth—so we can kind of understand the concern. (Racked)

Can Elsa and Anna help get kids to eat healthy? Previous studies have found that labeling fruits and vegetables with cartoons makes them significantly more appealing to children, and Disney-branded produce sales have reportedly tripled in the last two years. Bags of apples with Frozen and Spider-Man characters are being released this month as a continuation of the effort to get families to live healthier lifestyles. (Brand Channel)

Did you know every month, Ypulse surveys our Millennial panel of over 60,000, asking 1,000 14-32-year-olds about current events, seasonal trends, changing attitudes, and new norms? The results of these bi-weekly survey results are delivered to our Gold subscribers on Ypulse as downloadable tables, with data broken out by age, gender, ethnicity, location, and education. (Ypulse)

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