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The Anatomy of Nostalgic Package Design

The Anatomy of Nostalgic Package Design

Steve Heisler

hand soap, chewing gum, beer can and tea can

According to Ela Veresiu, assistant professor of marketing at York University, and Ana Babic Rosario, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Denver, consumers are drawn to nostalgia in times of uncertainty, and brands have been capitalizing on this strong and salient emotion in their packaging. For some brands, that means reviving their classic designs, while newer ones that lack as much history choose to adopt retro styles. Done right, nostalgic packaging provides positive and warm associations with the product to match fond memories from consumers’ pasts.

Photo by Jamie Ramsay.

Steve Heisler is a staff writer at the American Marketing Association. His work can be found in Rolling Stone, GQ, The A.V. Club and Chicago Sun-Times. He may be reached at sheisler@ama.org.