3. True Nostalgia

It’s grander than Presidential Reality Show champion Donald Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again.”

It’s bigger than France’s presidential primary victor, François Fillon, who promises to restore “respect,” “pride” and “French values.”

It’s bigger than the Austrian, Italian, Hungarian, Dutch, German, British, etc., political movements whose foundations are built on bringing back times long gone by, when their countries and cultures expressed treasured values in arts, culture, innovation and tradition.

Indeed, nostalgia often provides a distorted view of history – conveniently eliminating socioeconomic and geopolitical negatives that wrought tragic destruction at home and abroad, while accentuating the positives of what made their countries prosperous and unique.

But now, what so-called “populist” political movements are tapping into extends far beyond national borders.

As evidenced in our “Make it New” trend (page 1) and relative to November’s US presidential election, established political parties were overpowered by a beyond-the-Beltway outsider, Donald Trump. But there’s more: From the Oval Office to Hollywood, from Silicon Valley to the loudest rappers and the biggest entertainment names that threw their money and careers behind Hillary Clinton, the old guard and established entities were defeated by voters yearning for a taste of the good old days.

Millennial power

As post-World War II Baby Boomers age and the new massive wave of millennials fills the population gap, both groups yearn for a time that used to be. It was a time that represented values. It was a time where customs enriched both the soul and pocketbook.

Far beyond the obvious political landscape or bringing back the simplicity of “Edison light bulbs,” “farm-to-table,” “buy local” or a fashion/music/entertainment trend from youth, true nostalgia extends beyond the times they knew, or any point of personal reference.

TREND FORECAST: Advertisers and marketers of products and services that span the retail spectrum in virtually every category – toys, music, magazines, food, fashion, movies, etc. – will reap both sizable financial rewards and greatly expand their customer base by identifying artistic/cultural high points of their nation’s past and retrofitting them for the future.

Among the most obvious is music. Highly digitized, synthesized and computerized, mostly void of instruments, tightly programmed and monotonously predictable, the sounds of today provides but one glaring example of a major market niche to be filled by retrofitted sounds and styles that once prevailed.

For example, a music style that would resonate to nostalgia-hungry Americans would reflect a past era that today’s public believes was the high time of the nation. It’d be choosing a time they never lived in, but one that fills a nostalgic desire.

Similarly, in nations across the world suffering from socioeconomic unrest and dim prospects for the future, any product/service remix of the past that entails a sense of the good old days will achieve wide consumer appeal. 

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