How Strong is the Pull of the Past? Measuring Personal Nostalgia Evoked by Advertising

Altaf Merchant

University of Washington, Tacoma

Kathryn LaTour

Cornell University

John B. Ford

Old Dominion University

Michael S. LaTour

Cornell University

Management slant

  • Advertising evoked personal nostalgia is multi-dimensional: past imagery, positive emotions, negative emotions and physiological reactions.
  • It has a positive impact on attitudes towards the advertisement, bonding with the focal brand and brand choice.
  • Nostalgic advertisements work better than non-nostalgic advertising, even among less loyal consumers.
  • Effective nostalgic advertisements need to evoke images from the past; conjure up positive emotions and physiological reactions; and curtail the negative emotions associated with nostalgia.
  • This scale can be used diagnostically to gauge how effectively the advertisement evokes the various dimensions of nostalgia.