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The Return Of Retro: Vinyl Is Back

Written by Reece
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Michael Keaton is Batman, Blink-182 are touring and vinyl records are outselling CDs – you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d accidentally stepped back in time but we are very much still in 2023. Could this be the year of retro…

Reading that more vinyl records than CDs were bought (in the US) for the first time since 1987 really got us thinking about the power of nostalgia and how the future of pop culture could actually be in the past! 

Wacky, right? We reckon we’re onto something though.


What Does This Surge In Vinyl Record Sales Mean?

The 41 million vinyl records which were sold in 2022 dwarfs the 33 million CDs sold, showing that audiophiles currently prefer vintage kit rather than modern technology when it comes to enjoying their favourite albums. 

Whether we’re looking at fashion, movies, music or almost anything else, you’re likely to see some resurgence of stuff that was seemingly ‘gone and forgotten’. This is very much a sign of the times and proves that even if something is a bit faffy, nostalgia will usually prevail. 

What makes this stat even more prevalent is that it comes in the wake of Spotify’s recent update which has caused a lot of backlash. The redesign of the app, which strongly resembles TikTok, has been said to take the focus away from music. 

Modern Tech – 0
Nostalgic kit – 1

How Does Nostalgia Translate To Other Markets?

Of course, this isn’t the first time that retro trends have come back around, but it is interesting that even with modern technology that makes listening to music so easy, listeners are taking the time to set up a vinyl record on their player and flip it when the crackling starts.

One of the most obvious examples of nostalgia being utilised in other markets is polaroid cameras, which have seen a rise in popularity despite most of us carrying around 12 megapixels in our pockets. It’s unlikely that this will be adopted by video formats though, as we’re not expecting to see VHS tapes come flying back onto our shelves ever again.


Nostalgia Is The Key

It can be tricky to talk about how brands use nostalgia without sounding cynical but it is a technique which has been used for many years and almost never fails. Need to sell a blockbuster movie? Put Harrison Ford back in a cowboy hat. Need to sell a new games console? Make it compatible with Tetris and Snake. You can see a pattern forming here.

Now, we’re not saying that this is a marketing cheat code but if it’s done right it can be an extremely reliable method of sales. Just off the top of your head, see how many marketing campaigns you can think of that currently tug on the threads of our nostalgia…

To Go Forwards, We Have To Go Back

If you’re ever stumped when it comes to reeling off ideas for a new marketing campaign, thinking about creating something fresh and new may be where you’re going wrong. Instead, take a look into the past and see what you can bring back to life! Need a hand? Give us a bell +44 113 460 1232.

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