In praise of retro marketing: it’s thoroughly modern

I saw these packs in M&S yesterday.

Boy, do the Brits like to hark back to their ” finest hour ” (c. W. Churchill) , when a crisis hits. The Queen was at it in her broadcast to the nation.  Has there ever been as better brand name than “Spitfire” ? I don’t think so. Patients coming out of intensive care have even likened the nurses and doctors to Spitfire pilots in the battle of Britain. So this post is un-ashamedly retro – yet proven to be effective by modern behaviour science and the stuff we love looking at on the Internet.  It turns out that retro marketing is also thoroughly modern marketing. Here are my four retro marketing tips.

Write copy that rhymes

Like – A Mars a day helps you work rest and play

BS proof   – Rhymes are are thought to be more truthful ( and are certainly more memorable)

Create a brand symbol 

Like pretty much any brand in the insurance market (Meercats/Churchill/Opera singer).

BS proof – Symbols make brands instantly recognisable so that we don’t have to think hard about choice because Brands are really energy saving shortcuts in decision making

Use an instantly recognisable face

Like – L’Oreal, who have been doing it for years: it a fast and instinctive way to update and refresh a brand

BS proof – we are instantly draw to faces ( see page 1 of Thinking fast and slow for an explanation) and have innate ability to decode their subtle meanings. It’s a survival mechanism- we need sort friend from foe in all situations and the mental processing happens much much faster that you can say ” digital marketing”

Get cute 

Proof- Cats of Instagram-enough said. Just type “Cute” into Google and you can spend hours looking at cats, all types of animals and babies  or as David Ogilvy once said If you want people to look at your ads put a baby in it” Or  Daniel Kahneman  “When adults see infant faces it stimulates nurturing behaviour”. None of this of course will come as a surprise to Disney, whose Mickey Mouse adventures cheered up Americans during the Great Depression

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