Going Retro

Blasts from past

Margaret-Anne Lawlor

“Don't hold me to it, but I heard they're bringing Wispa back”. So trumpeted the slogan heralding the resurrection of Cadbury's Wispa bar, thanks to popular demand. The rebirth is an example of a surge of interest in the past as consumers go ‘retro' and fondly remember the good old days and a demand for ‘old' products and services.

Retro's tentacles are far reaching and are visible on shelves and in popular culture. Witness how the BBC enjoyed strong audiences for its Strictly Come Dancing reality series recalling the long-held British fondness for ballroom dancing.

ITV attracted huge audiences with programmes redolent of Victorian variety shows, like Britain's Got Talent. In popular literature, the Harry Potter phenomenon is a genre that has its roots in fantasy which appeals to both adults and children at different levels, in the same way as Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland once did.

Marketers are now embracing nostalgia as they strive to leverage the past to build on current brand equity. In fashion, designers and retailers revisit history for inspiration, while a flurry of activity has seen supermodels being brought out of ‘retirement'.

Linda Evangelista fronts for L'Or

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