Jun 21 Why “Retro” Works3
As we’ve seen before, retro packaging designs can create buzz and boost sales by appealing to consumers’ sense of nostalgia. Douglass Kaufman of Cocoon Group recently wrote for TheDieline on why the retro phenomena is such a hit.
FastCoDesign’s Suzanne Labarre previously questioned P&G’s use of vintage packaging designs, explaining that in order for the nostalgic appeal to kick in, consumers need something to feel nostalgic for… reintroducing retro designs for P&G’s laundry products more likely bring to mind “the rigid gender roles of mid-century.” However, Kaufman argues, “few people buying laundry detergent today suffered under the yoke of 1950’s domestic bliss. Instead, what most people will remember is their childhoods, playing securely and happily in the backyard… This is the nostalgia into which P&G retro packaging fits.”
In addition to the nostalgia for “simpler times,” Kaufman argues that retro themes are also “trendy” – “The late 50s – early 60s are simply ‘hot’ right now and people are associating those times with positive emotions… We’re talking about the same level of emotion that gives 1969 flower power motifs instant credibility as environmentally friendly, regardless of the product. While the late 60s is revolutionary, casual, and natural, the early 60s are definitely glamorous, distinguished, and above all, sexy.”
Finally, not only do these vintage designs have novelty-appeal, they also promote the brands as timeless, which is a powerful statement. As Kaufman points out, “[this] is a formula that has worked countless times… and I have no doubt that it will work now for P&G.”