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  • Building up the memory bank
    Creative Commons, keyka sukahyo (2009) ©

Nostalgia in the digital age

Jenny Winfield puts forward a new definition of nostalgia inspired by Gen Y’s proclivity for digital memory making, with some clear insights for brands.

Location Europe / North America / Western Asia

In wartime, ‘nostalgia’ was a medical condition categorised as an extreme case of longing for home. The word has since acquired more positive connotations; psychologists have studied its effects and found that it improves mood and a sense of solidarity in older people. Countless brands have recognised its appeal and shaped their communication accordingly.

Given their lack of life experience (comparatively speaking), it seems strange that Gen Y so frequently claim to be nostalgic. However, their desire and ability to document their lives - at least in westernized society - has led to a new definition ...