Nostalgia Effect

Thinking about the past makes us want to spend more now

Recent research suggests that reminiscing about the past weakens our desire to hold on to money, instead fostering social connectedness.

Lasaleta, J. D., Sedikides, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2014). Nostalgia weakens the desire for money. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(3), 713-729.

The study

Setup

129 people were split into 2 groups, with half asked to either write about a time when they felt nostalgic or a neutral event. After writing, everyone was given $5 to distribute between themselves and a random other.

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Results

The results showed that on average, neutrals only gave away $1.43, whereas nostalgics gave $2.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Key Takeaways

Understand what nostalgia means for your target audience. Brands, products and campaign messaging can all gain from referring to the past to loosen our wallets. Nintendo are now rereleasing their 1985 NES console, for example.

Use to promote social behaviour. Since nostalgia causes a reduction in one’s desire for money,  it can instead be used to increase charitable donations or promote participation in a charitable event. 

Digital nostalgia is growing, as our online history of archived experiences deepens. The opportunity to capitalize upon this powerful effect will only increase. e.g. Facebook is now reminding us of our past experiences, using nostalgia to keep us emotionally bound to their network.

Nostalgia Effect

Thinking about the past makes us want to spend more now

Recent research suggests that reminiscing about the past weakens our desire to hold on to money, instead fostering social connectedness.

Lasaleta, J. D., Sedikides, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2014). Nostalgia weakens the desire for money. Journal of Consumer Research, 41(3), 713-729.

The study

Setup

129 people were split into 2 groups, with half asked to either write about a time when they felt nostalgic or a neutral event. After writing, everyone was given $5 to distribute between themselves and a random other.

Results

The results showed that on average, neutrals only gave away $1.43, whereas nostalgics gave $2.

Key Takeaways

Understand what nostalgia means for your target audience. Brands, products and campaign messaging can all gain from referring to the past to loosen our wallets. Nintendo are now rereleasing their 1985 NES console, for example.

Use to promote social behaviour. Since nostalgia causes a reduction in one’s desire for money,  it can instead be used to increase charitable donations or promote participation in a charitable event. 

Digital nostalgia is growing, as our online history of archived experiences deepens. The opportunity to capitalize upon this powerful effect will only increase. e.g. Facebook is now reminding us of our past experiences, using nostalgia to keep us emotionally bound to their network.

Nostalgia Effect

Thinking about the past makes us want to spend more now

Recent research suggests that reminiscing about the past weakens our desire to hold on to money, instead fostering social connectedness.

The study

Setup

129 people were split into 2 groups, with half asked to either write about a time when they felt nostalgic or a neutral event. After writing, everyone was given $5 to distribute between themselves and a random other.

Results

The results showed that on average, neutrals only gave away $1.43, whereas nostalgics gave $2.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Pairings

Loyalty

Make memories social to trigger a desire for new ones

Positive memories are rarely experienced in isolation. Instead, we tend to reminisce together about the past. If you're using nostalgia in your communications, frame messages as a reciprocal question to others, like "Do you remember this too?". Airlines, holiday and events firms or any experiential companies can use this.

What shared past experiences can you surface to start a reciprocal journey down memory lane? Next: make it easy to make brand new memories together.

Connected to

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Nostalgia Effect

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