Last Friday, VO5 stocked their infamous ‘Hair oils’ back on the shelves. The return of the best-selling product, it had once propelled VO5 to be the UK’s leading styling brand. The void was only temporarily filled with the odd Mumsnet forum until the demand saw the products restocked on shelves across the U.K.
The bottom line is that the product worked well. Although, most advertisers have cornered into the uses of nostalgia for anchoring an audience; most of the time this has nothing to do with the product. In this case, VO5 knew that former consumers of the product had a long-lasting impression. As a result, the return print advert personalises the oils, simply stating; “Miss me?”.
The use of nostalgia by advertisers capitalises reference as an anchor for the audience, there’s a guaranteed response which helps the success-driven industry continue to secure their audience and when ‘it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. In many cases, companies re-launch their products to celebrate their cult status or to re-vitalise their range of products with redrafting bestsellers.
Every other week there’s an exclusive drop from Champion or Supreme, which have many collaborators making novel pieces. The K-swiss revival in 2003 amplified their strong placement within Hip Hop culture throughout the years; soon after, many rap lyrics, collaborations and VIPs had something or other to do with the shoe.
It took almost 100 years for Champion to gain the credibility of their current price points. Only 10 years ago, the same ‘sports luxe’ shell suit would be scoffed at from the same person wearing it today.
Our audiences will always need a point of reference to gain context behind advertising’s big ideas. According to Campaign, ‘Reference is a new luxury’; millennials living in the information era seek knowledge as currency and whittle this down for the most credible anecdotes. There’s a shared experience of common cultural currency for the consumer, subconsciously creating new social boundaries of exclusivity with the limited edition supreme drop. For VO5, Mumsnet has created a forum of shared experience for VO5 hot oils users which now have a community for their shared affection for the product.
Attention is a resource in the current ‘Attention Economy’ (Beck, Davenport & Crawford) and anything to bypass this exchange helps advertisers. In short – It’s easier for an advertiser to trigger an old though than spark a new one; the challenge is in how to repackage the old into new.
The placement of culture, when done correctly, takes the audience into instantly connecting that brand with their childhood home… even if the product they are consuming was made 1000s of miles away.