The word “nostalgia” has a Greek derivation with two roots:“nostos” meaning to “return home or to one’s native land” and “algos” referring to “pain, suffering or grief” (Hofer 1688; Daniels 1985). Even though the word nostalgia stems from negative emotions like pain and grief, it can induce positive feelings like warmth and joy. It displaces a person momentarily by invoking a range of memories that generate a desire to go back in time. The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising provides great insight into how everyday commodities have evolved since the Victorian Era until the present.
“Product packaging design has become one of the most powerful tools in the marketing communications mix to delight consumers. Evoking nostalgic feelings through design can generate positive emotions to enhance consumer satisfaction effectively.” 1
Nostalgia driven marketing can be used to reposition products from a specific time period to a target audience that would emotionally respond to it. Repositioning products from the 1990s like the VHS tapes or the Spice Girls merchandise could bring back memories of pleasant experiences that in-turn could drive consumers to own that piece of memory. Thus, it is clearly evident that nostalgia has a direct impact on consumer behavior.
The exhibition takes you through a visual timeline of the development of toys, branded consumer goods and gadgets. It encourages conversations between visitors who share memories that are connected with the packaged good. Emotional motivators are tools that not only connect a product and a person but also break the age barrier and aid interactions between people, who have varied temperaments and belong to different generations.
The exhibition successfully evoked memories with just visuals and the smell of old paper products. It was a wonderful opportunity to experience my childhood again even though it was for a brief moment. However, the overall experience would have been more memorable if they had incorporated sounds and music from the certain time periods.
- Chun, J., Chen, C., (2014) ‘The impact of nostalgic emotions on consumer satisfaction with packaging design’, Journal of Business and Retail Management Research (JBRMR),8(2), pp. 71-79.
- Havlena J,W., Holak L,S.,(1991) ‘”The Good Old Days”: Observations On Nostalgia and Its Role In Consumer Behavior’, Advances in Consumer Research, 18(1), pp. 323-329.