Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on December 21st, 2021

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How To Win Newstalgia With Packaging Materials

Packaging Materials | Packaging Design

As we head into 2022, we are closer to the idealized versions of the future predicted by science fiction than ever before in human history.


However, as we move into a world powered by the IoT, industry 4.0, and vast virtual worlds such as the metaverse, it seems that consumers are reaching for some form of “the good old days.”


With the original cast of the Ghost Busters returning to the silver screen after more than thirty years while Michael Keaton reprises his role as Batman in the upcoming The Flash film, it appears that what is old is new again.


And this phenomenon is not only present in pop culture but within the packaging industry as well. With the meteoric rise in popularity of vintage packaging designs, it is clear that people are finding comfort, solace, and an escape from our modern society by an attempt to touch the past.


While this may seem like a set of coincidences, that is not the case at all. We are witnessing throughout our culture today a global manifestation of what has been dubbed “newstalgia.”


But what exactly is this evolution in conscious thought that drives people to hold on to the golden days of old?


And, more importantly, how can newstalgia be leveraged to help your business, your brand, and your customers?


Finally, we must ask ourselves, how can packaging materials be used in conjunction with newstalgia to provide valuable experiences to consumers and profitability to our businesses?


These are but a few of the questions we will be answering in today’s article.


After reading this article, you will have a solid understanding of what newstalgia is and how it can be used with your packaging materials to enhance your brand and products in a way that resonates with those of your customers who are openly embracing newstalgic experiences.


What Is Newstalgia?


What Is Newstalgia?


While it is a relatively new term, newstalgia is an interesting dynamic of the human subconscious which has been growing for some time now.


Basically, newstalgia is the desire to invoke older positive experiences through new or modern mediums. This may appear as older stories coming to the front of pop culture via books, movies, and other forms of media.


But, it is also glaringly obvious in the rise of vintage packaging designs, which of course, is how I came across this concept.


To say that the packaging industry has impacted my life emotionally may seem like some grasp at being sentimental, but that is really not the case at all.


As I look back on my life, I realize that packaging has actually had a profound effect on me. For example, the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Last Action Hero truly impacted me as a youth.


The ideas presented in that film really drove home the concepts of good and evil as they exist in fictional universes as well as our actual reality.


I will never forget going to Burger King one evening with my Father on a Friday night (a little weekly ritual that we had as a bonding experience) in which I had the first emotional reaction to packaging. Much to my surprise, the large beverage container that came with my meal was branded with last action hero imagery.


I kept that cup for several years before recycling it. And while the cup is now gone, the memory of how that simple piece of plastic packaging affected my life is a memory that has never faded.


And that is what newstalgia is all about.


Need help designing your packaging for newstalgia?

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Why Is Newstalgia Important?


The power of the good times we have experienced in the past as human beings drive our future actions in ways of which are hard to describe with words. This is because these experiences are borderline on the spiritual or psychological aspects of what makes us human.


As such, it should come as no surprise that newstalgia is such a potent force not only for branding, marketing, and sales but also the ability to create communities rather than just clusters of consumers and customers.


To say that newstalgia is an opportunity to truly shift your connection with your customers from a list of consumers to a group of individuals who love and support your brand as fans is a gross understatement.


And that is what I find truly exciting about the sudden manifestation of newstalgia. This is not just a passing fad. It is an opportunity to better understand your customers as complex and unique beings who are passionate about certain things.


These things could be films, books, podcasts, paintings, or any form of human creativity. And that is what makes this topic so exciting.


With newstalgia, you have the opportunity to not only tap into the highly visceral power of nostalgia but also to use it for the betterment of the lives of the people who sustain your business.


That’s pretty amazing, right? Of course, it is!


I mean, at the end of the day, why do we go to work every day? To make money and sustain the organization that sustains us, correct?


Well, why not do that in a way that makes you, your employees, your customers, and everyone who is connected to your brand, business, or company feel empowered by the magic of nostalgia?


That is the power of newstalgia, and that is why it is super important not to ignore this modern phenomenon.


What is most exciting about newstalgia is that it points to what future trends will be like as they relate to the collective unconscious of humanity.


And that is a big deal. As marketing genius Mark Schaefer says, “the most human company wins.” As such, newstalgia gives you an effortless way to transition to becoming the most human company by tapping into the nostalgic experiences your customers are craving.


This is why newstalgia is so essential; it is the beginning of a trend of highly charged emotional concepts that will be the first stepping stone into a new world.


A world in which marketing is not used to manipulate people to buy things but to engage them with meaningful and valuable experiences while also driving sales.


Which is to say, we can have our cake and eat it too. Pretty cool, huh?

Vintage boxes


How Can You Use Newstalgia In Packaging For Generating Sales?


Vintage Packaging


When it comes to leveraging newstalgia to sell more products, product packaging is an excellent tool. By using vintage packaging designs, you can instill a sense of newstalgia in your customers. 


Regardless of whether you choose to use rigid or flexible packaging, either of these materials can be printed with antique colors, typography, aesthetics, and branding in a way that triggers newstalgia in consumers.


According to many food companies, vintage packaging drives better sales. It has proven to be very attractive to modern-day consumers. And while there are various reasons that vintage packaging is one of the most popular packaging trends today, one of the main reasons it is so appealing is because it has an air of high quality.


So it should come as no surprise that vintage packaging is the perfect way for your brand to leverage the power of newstalgia to increase sales and generate better brand awareness.


If you are looking for a way to cash in on newstalgia, vintage packaging is one of the absolute best ways to achieve that goal.


Augmented Reality Packaging


Another fantastic way to use newstalgia in conjunction with packaging is augmented reality packaging.


For example, one of the biggest newstalgia success stories to date is Pizza Hut's augmented reality pizza boxes.


The boxes featured a QR code that, when scanned with a smartphone, allows the user to play a 3D augmented reality version of the classic arcade game, Pac-Man.


Back in the eighties, you could find a Pac-Man arcade game in almost every pizza hut.


By leveraging new digital technologies to evoke nostalgia in their customer base by offering a fresh take on this classic pizza hut experience, they achieved 8% same-store sales growth after the release of the augmented reality boxes.


This proved to be the brand's best quarterly performance in over a decade! This is a great example of the power of newstalgia and the value it has to offer your company and your customers.


How Can You Incorporate Newstalgia In Your Packaging Materials?


After reading this article, I hope you are as excited about newstalgia as I am. With that being said, you are most likely wondering, how can your business leverage newstalgia to achieve your financial goals?


Well, that is a great question, but in order for us to answer that question, we will need to get to know you better. This could mean a chat through email, zoom, in-person, or whatever medium you prefer.


Suppose you would like to discuss redesigning some of your packaging materials to properly evoke newstalgia in a way that will drive profitable lead generation for your company. In that case, you will want to consider speaking to one of our packaging specialists.


They will be able to help you design the perfect packaging to ignite the magic of newstalgia for your prospective customers!


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About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.