away from “unified nostalgia”: conceptual differences of personal and historical nostalgia...
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This article was downloaded by: [Universite De Paris 1]On: 16 May 2013, At: 04:42Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK
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Away from Unified Nostalgia:Conceptual Differences of Personaland Historical Nostalgia Appeals inAdvertisingChristopher Marchegiani a & Ian Phau aa Curtin University of Technology, Perth, AustraliaPublished online: 12 Mar 2010.
To cite this article: Christopher Marchegiani & Ian Phau (2010): Away from Unified Nostalgia:Conceptual Differences of Personal and Historical Nostalgia Appeals in Advertising, Journal ofPromotion Management, 16:1-2, 80-95
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10496490903572991
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Journal of Promotion Management, 16:8095, 2010Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLCISSN: 1049-6491 print / 1540-7594 onlineDOI: 10.1080/10496490903572991
Away from Unified Nostalgia: ConceptualDifferences of Personal and Historical
Nostalgia Appeals in Advertising
CHRISTOPHER MARCHEGIANI and IAN PHAUCurtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
Studies suggest that nostalgia can be split into two distinct forms:Personal and Historical nostalgia. This research explores these vari-eties of nostalgic appeal and, based on literature, proposes differingeffects these variations may have on the important consumer be-havior responses of cognition, emotions, attitudes, and purchaseintentions. A review of the literature suggests that significant dif-ferences will exist dependent on the type of nostalgic appeal beingused. The call for scales to test these appeals independently of oneanother is also made. Finally, this evidence suggests that treatmentof nostalgia as a unified concept may be inaccurate in predict-ing true consumer responses and future studies should treat the twotypes as separate appeals if rigor is to be suggested.
KEYWORDS advertising appeals, memory process, historical nos-talgia, personal nostalgia
Nostalgia: A Brief History and Background
Nostalgia is commonly described as a preference (general liking, positiveattitude, or favourable affect) toward objects (people, places, or things) thatwere more common (popular, fashionable, or widely circulated) when onewas younger (in early adulthood, in adolescence, in childhood, or even be-fore birth) (Holbrook & Schindler, 1991, p. 330). It may affect any person,regardless of their age, social class, gender, ethnicity, or other social group-ings (Sedikides, Wildschut, & Baden, 2004). Although originally based in
Address correspondence to Ian Phau, PhD, Professor, School of Marketing, Curtin Busi-ness School, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA 6845. E-mail:Ian.email@example.com
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Nostalgia Appeals in Advertising 81
psychology, nostalgia has been developed through sociology and market-ing into a promotional appeal identified as highly effective and persuasive(Naughton, Vlasic, & Grover, 1998). From a marketing viewpoint, it hasbeen identified as an underlying theme of many marketing and advertis-ing strategies (Ironson, 1999; Cosgrove & Sheridan, 2002; Lundegaard, 2002;Poniewozik, 2002; White, 2002) and has been implicated in a variety ofbehavioral research contexts, including; self-concept, brand loyalty, brandmeaning, the human senses, consumption preferences, literary criticism, col-lective memory, and emotions (Muehling & Sprott, 2004).
Nostalgia may be caused by a number of elements, including music,photographs, movies, special events, family members, threatening stimulus,and as a deliberate response to an uncomfortable psychological state (Holak& Havlena, 1992; Greenberg, Koole, & Pyszczynski, 2004). In advertisements,advertisers may be capable of explicitly encouraging nostalgic reflection us-ing executional elements such as music, jingles, and visual images (Havlena& Holak, 1991). This has been tested empirically through the content analysisof television advertisements (1031 ads appearing on network TV) by Unger,McConocha, and Faier (1991) who identified six elements in advertising thathave nostalgia-evoking qualities. Period-oriented symbols (used 30% of thetime) and Period-oriented music (28%) were indicated as the most preva-lent with the other elements being: references to past family experiences,the olden days, old brands, and patriotic references.
Nostalgia is generally described as an emotional process (e.g., Stern,1992; Holak & Havlena, 1998) rather than a cognitive memory process (Belk,1990), although nostalgia has been shown to influence the type and order ofrespondents thoughts (e.g., Muehling & Sprott, 2004). Thus, both theories onmemory processes (i.e., thought processing and retrieval) and emotions areimportant theoretical underpinnings for understanding nostalgias effects inmarketing. As shown in Muehling and Sprott, there is considerable support inthe advertising literature for the relationship between ad-evoked emotionalresponses (feelings) and a consumers (1) formation of an attitude towardsthe brand (see Ray & Batra, 1983; Holbrook & OShaughnessy, 1984; Mitchell,1986; Edell & Burke, 1987), and/or (2) formation of an attitude towardsthe advertisements/expression of likeability to the advert itself (see Aaker,Stayman, & Hagerty, 1986; Batra & Ray, 1983; Machleit & Wilson, 1988;Stayman & Aaker, 1988). Thus, theories on attitudinal response, such as thedual mediation hypothesis (DMH) (MacKenzie, Lutz, & Belch, 1986), are alsoimportant underpinnings for studying nostalgia. These theories and how theyrelate to the variations of nostalgia are further explored in due course.
Personal and Historical Nostalgia: Why Are They Different?
The concept of different types of nostalgia (often referred to as personaland historical) is discussed by a number of academics (e.g., Havlena &
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Holak, 1991; Hirsch, 1992; Holak & Havlena, 1992; Stern, 1992; Baker &Kennedy, 1994; Batcho, 1995). In exploring personal and historical nostalgiaseparately, we look to Stern (1992) and Havlena and Holak (1991) whoexplain that Personal Nostalgia are responses generated from a personallyremembered past (the way I was), while Historical Nostalgia are responsesgenerated from a time in history that the respondent did not experiencedirectly, even a time before they were born (the way it was).
While this distinction of nostalgic appeals is made, empirical studiesdo not explore these varieties independently of one another. Holbrook andSchindlers (1991) previously discussed definition of nostalgia as being froma time when one was younger (in early adulthood, in adolescence, in child-hood, or even before birth) (p. 330) is a useful example of the unifiedview of nostalgia that is often used in empirical studies, with no distinctionmade between personal and non-personal times (i.e., before birth).
Although of course Holbrook and Schindlers (1991) definition is cor-rect in explaining nostalgia as the unified concept they no doubt intended,evidence suggests that marketers may wish to be wary of testing nostalgicappeals in this way. In terms of previous work, Stern (1992) encapsulateswell the two appeals in suggesting as to what types of characters, values,settings and similarities (in terms of literature) are best suited to which formof nostalgia, and much of this can be applied to a marketing setting. Sternalso examines some products that may be better suited under the each typeof nostalgia. However, the comparable effects of each type of appeal asa promotion/marketing tool has on various consumers behavior reactions isnot determined or empirically measured. Stern (1992) also identifies somespecific cues for evoking the two different types. Personal nostalgia cuesincluded: familiarity, home and hearth, lifelike incidents, ordinary people,love, nurturance, and identification. These use memory as the perceiversmental process. Historical cues include: historical incidents, romance, rolemodels, aspirational/idealized characters, long ago settings, and sometimesexaggerated tones. Baker and Kennedy (1994) discussed peoples tendencyto embellish a reconstructed past when faced with this form of nostalgia.The mental process in this case is more fantasy/imaginary. Although thebehavioral response was in a proposed form (thus not containing empiricalresearch of suggested effects), the types of cu