CHICAGO: Nickelodeon, the media company, is tapping into the power of nostalgia in a bid to strengthen its relationship with millennial consumers who retain an abiding passion for the television shows of their youth.

Jennifer Tracy, Nickelodeon’s SVP/partner marketing and creative advertising, discussed this subject at Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Brand Activation Conference.

And she reported that the brand has reflected millennials’ fond memories of Nickelodeon programming from their childhood – such as “Double Dare”, “Hey Arnold!” and “Rugrats” – to foster new connections with this audience.

The insights behind this strategy included everything from social-media sharing, discovering that millennials were throwing themed costume parties based around their favorite Nickelodeon shows, and even a push from interns in this demographic.

“We were so inspired by the [enthusiasm] that we created a new on-air/social-content programming block called ‘The Nick Splat,’” Tracy said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Mountain Dew, Visioncare and Nickelodeon meet millennials in the ’90s.)

This offering featured classic mid-to-late 1980s, 1990s, and early-to-mid 2000s children's programming – and rapidly attracted 35 million fans to indicate their support.

Millennials “expect to build brand love through content that lives on screens, but they also now expect for us to reach them beyond screens,” Tracy related.

Social content in support of this effort, she continued, popped up from a variety of sources: “It could be original content. Or it could be short snippets from existing shows,” she added.

“It could be us just calling [on] our fans to submit their own kind of social content inspired by the ’90s. And, of course, we do contests, giveaways and other things that build that affinity.

“The driver behind it all was that people were asking us to bring back the '90s. We felt it was something that we really needed to pay attention to.”

Live events and activations targeted at the same cohort – and run alongside partners such as Mountain Dew, the beverage brand owned by PepsiCo, and Viacom, the media company – have given this mission an extra dimension.

“They really want those real-life experiences,” said Tracy, “so the question for us became, ‘How do we re-imagine the brand experience within its existing content and beyond it?’”

Sourced from WARC