Nostalgia marketing has always existed. But post-pandemic, it seems to have taken on a more precious garb. The world has just come out of a time when hanging out together and connecting socially was scarce making the memories of good times in the past, that much more special.
Nostalgia is a powerful thing - especially at a time when things are uncertain and troubled. The older generation remembers being a child and the uncomplicated times when they went to McDonald’s and celebrated the occasional birthday there. Nostalgia marketing navigates the waters of emotion and memory – where it balances the memories of the past with the importance of staying relevant in the present. When done right, it works like a charm.
Nostalgia marketing seems to be just one of the ways McDonald’s spruces up its marketing strategy. When you think about it, all the items on the menu are the same – except for a purple shake, in this instance. But just adding the Grimace layer to it, McDonald’s is able to sell its existing line of products but packaged differently. Along with a purple colored berry shake. McDonald’s is great at adding this new layer to the existing line up and increasing its sales! (Remember Cardi B and the Offset meal? Same products – just positioned differently!)
In this instance, the nostalgia with Grimace comes without any potentially hefty cost of a celebrity partnership.
The nostalgia attracts the older crowd – the millennials and the baby boomers. And the novelty of Grimace will attract the younger crowd, and help build McDonald’s character relationships with them, helping them connect to a version of the brand that their parents remember.
It might be like they are being initiated into a special generational bond. The people around the youngsters might have grown up with birthday parties at McDonald’s and Grimace’s purple magic – and now they have a chance to connect with this. They might have heard the older folk talk about it – and now is their chance to connect with it.
The campaign comes with a omni-channel spread, using all the tactics and digital channels that have been central to McDonald’s efforts in recent years.
In all, this is one of the many great campaigns that McDonald’s has been doing to keep their brand relevant to customers of all ages.