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Missing the Past: Retro Marketing

In recent years, social media platforms have changed our social lives to a great extent, and the pandemic process that we are still influenced by has increased our sense of longing for the past. It is a fact that people like to share photos from their old and happy times as well as their daily lives on their social media accounts. There is no one who has not seen the #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt tags, which have been used fondly on Instagram for a long time, on the Instagram homepage. Or the # 20yearschallenge stream as the closest example. We all liked the nostalgic posts of our relatives this week. With the transformation of social media into a suitable environment for the marketing field, the feeling of “nostalgia” has attracted the attention of marketers. In this article, we have prepared an article about retro marketing, which is a type of marketing.

What is Retro Marketing?

First of all, Stephen Brown was the first to mention the concept of retro marketing. Stephen Brown refers to retro marketing as “The revival or relaunch of a product or service from a previous historical period.” as defined. Retro marketing takes advantage of consumers’ childhood-youth periods, old habits, a song or movie that they have influenced in the past, in short, things that leave a mark in the lives of consumers. The consumer feels closer to the brand because retro marketing refers to the good days of the past. For these reasons, it is said to be one of the best ways for a brand to connect with its consumer.

Brands that want to establish strong ties with their consumers can benefit from flavors, packaging, visuals, sounds and advertisements that remind the past under the name of retro marketing. However, brands can decide to reproduce their favorite products in the past. Repro means reproducing the old beautiful products, combining the new with the old means retro, and the new products developed starting from nostalgia are under the category of repro-retro, also known as neo-nostalgia. Music groups’ new albums inspired by nostalgia can be given as an example of the repro-retro category.

Retro Marketing Examples

Volkswagen – Beetle

One of the retro marketing examples is Volkswagen’s reproduction of its “vosvos”, which are cute and nowadays described as nostalgic cars.

retro marketing volkswagen

Sana – 60th Year Campaign

In 2013, Sana used both the nostalgic scenes from its old advertisements in its new advertisement and sold its products with the nostalgic packages they used in the past years in the 60th Year Campaign.

retro marketing sana

Apart from the examples above, we can count many examples such as the slogan and advertisements of Ülker Hanımeller, “Anne Eli Değmiş Gibi”, Coca-Cola reusing the packages and bottles used in the past years. However, in order to give more up-to-date examples, we wanted to share with you three collaborations that have attracted our attention recently and whose campaigns we follow with pleasure.

BluTV – Yeşilçam

BluTV’s Yeşilçam series, which has been broadcasted in the past days, is a complete retro marketing example with its decors, clothes, music, all the details that refer to the 60s and social media campaigns.

retro marketing blutv

The BluTV Yeşilçam-Cansu Dengey collaboration is an interesting and cheerful example of retro marketing.

OMO – Machine Cleaner

It is not the only retro marketing example that Cansu Dengey shot for Yeşilçam. Collaboration with OMO is also a very good and enjoyable example.

Mabbels – “Who Will Find the Gold Ticket”

This idea, which includes details such as Mösyö Taha’s dressing as Willy Wonka, the character of the 2005 movie Charlie’s Chocolate Factory, and the golden ticket coming out of the chocolate as in the movie, can be a good example of this type of marketing.

Retro marketing is an intimate form of marketing that appeals to the mind and heart of consumers. Although it is thought that it only appeals to a certain age, it actually attracts the attention of young people. Some young people can approach the music that their families listened to in the past, the movies they watched, and their black-and-white photographs with the sympathy of “how beautiful the old days were, I wish I lived in those times”. For this reason, marketing ideas made without ignoring the target audience can be applied in a way that can attract the attention of different generations.

In summary, retro marketing is a valuable alternative for brands in these times when consumers are looking for authenticity and sincerity.


Brown, S. (1999). Retro‐marketing: yesterday’s tomorrows, today!. Marketing Intelligence & Planning.

Keskın, H. D., & Memış, S. (2011). RETRO PAZARLAMA VE PAZARLAMADA UYGULANMASINA YÖNELİK BAZI ÖRNEKLER. Suleyman Demirel University Journal of Faculty of Economics & Administrative Sciences16(3).

Güzel, E., & Okan, E. Y. (2016). Nostalgia from the Younger Generation Perspective: The Impact of Nostalgia Advertising on Postmodern Individuals. Business and Economics Research Journal7(3), 137.

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