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 hope to be a good person that can change the world for the better. I want to be an artist and an author and a musician in my free time, and be a veterinarian as my profession.” —Female, 15, WA

Xers and Boomers may look down upon the growing subset of Millennials moving back in with mom and dad, but instead of feeling bad for themselves, these kids are making it work. A closer look at their post-grad lives is being explored in Boomerang Kids—a photojournalist series inspired by one Millennial’s experience of moving back home after draining resources as a photography assistant. The juxtaposition of reaching towards adulthood while still living in their childhood rooms paints a fuller picture of how many are living day-to-day. (Fast Company

Wendy’s may be tainting the comeback of one of their most popular items—the pretzel bun—in a #PretzelLoveSongs commercial being called out for “lazy parodying.” Those who feel nostalgic for the ‘90s hit song “To Be With You” are cringing over the Wendy’s commercial remake, and voicing their extreme distaste on Twitter. Be careful playing with Millennials’ nostalgia, because not taking it seriously could land a brand in hot water. (Uproxx)

How can we make kids exercise more? Since dragging them away from their screens is more difficult than ever, Wokamon is a new app from China that is making kids bring their devices outside and take a walk in order to feed their virtual pets. The cute aliens feed on energy, and the app’s pedometer technology measures steps, distance, and calories that add up to advance pets to new levels and unlock characters. Though targeted to kids, teens and adults can benefit from the app’s fun approach to fitness and sync it with other wearable trackers. (Springwise)

One mom’s open letter to Lands’ End asking why there have been cool science shirts designed for boys but not for girls has quickly gained momentum online with other parents this month, and pushed the brand to launch an entirely new line of science-themed tees for girls who love NASA, sharks, and the like. The brand has been accused of gender stereotyping in the past, and is addressing the posts on its Facebook page directly by rolling out new science-themed styles for girls this fall. (Huffington Post)

Digital versus unplugged is the wedding debate of late, and the line between too tech-centric and being completely disconnected is one that brides and grooms are finding difficult to straddle. Social media is increasingly being used to create wedding albums via couple-specific hashtags, but some couples are so turned off by the near constant focus on camera phones during a wedding that they are enforcing device-free ceremonies. (NYT)

Quote of the Day: "A benefit of unplugging is getting a more personal view of the world back. (Social media tends to distort your perception to bend to what others are thinking/feeling/saying/doing.)” —Female, 25, MN

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