Creating Nostalgia Marketing with the Future

One of the big news stories early in the new year was the fact that we had failed as a civilisation. Despite technological pioneers such as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, we failed to make the 2015 society we saw in Back to the Future. No hover boards. No 3-D holographic advertising coming from marquees (although we are getting closer). But Nike didn’t see this shortcoming as a fail. No, they saw it as a marketing opportunity.


Nostalgia marketing is a particularly effective tactic. When the current world is all too stressful, too action packed and too exhausting, nostalgia marketing takes advantage of everyone’s innate need to return to ‘simpler times’ and rediscover a lost past. Bringing back fads from a childhood. Returning fashion of decades past to the shelves. Drawing on those good ol’ fashioned fonts. They all encourage consumers to regress back to a more comfortable time.

In reality, these times weren’t any less difficult than the current time we are all going through, but they certainly feel that way!

In response to finally reaching the year Marty McFly time travelled to, Nike decided to release a new range of shoes. The futuristic Nike shoes that Marty McFly wore in the movie (where Nike probably paid an enormous amount for product placement). And now they are still reaping the benefits of this product placement all these years later.

However, this marketing strategy by Nike creates a new type of marketing. In a sense it is nostalgia marketing because it is returning audiences to the time of Back to the Future. A time when you could sit in the theatre and watch Marty McFly without the constant awareness of emails flooding your inbox while you sit in the cinema.

But at the same time it is taking advantage of another phenomena. It is targeting that disappointment people feel about a lost future. We had been promised hover boards and exciting new marketing. But at least you can wear the Nike shoes of 2015. That prediction came true!

It is a clever idea by Nike and it has certainly got the desired amount of media coverage. I’m going to have to stop here because I have to find a movie set in 2016 and begin working on my Nostalgic Future product range for next year!