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Timehop & Social Good: The Power of Nostalgia
Ad Council Ad Council
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York , NY
Thursday, August 09, 2018


The effects of nostalgia are powerful. A song, a photo or even a smell (Crispy Critters cereal, anyone?) can evoke vivid memories and connection to the past. The media and advertisers know how to harness this to inspire and motivate audiences to tune-in, show up or make a purchase. Just as effective is nostalgia’s positive benefit on inspiring generosity in the non-profit sector.
Sweta Venkataramanan, Psy, D. says, “Our minds often search for positive memories and emotions to ground ourselves. Nostalgia can evoke positive feelings as we momentarily relive good times from the past. This reminiscing can strengthen a sense of personal identity and become a driving force.” This in turn can result in a willingness to give our time or money to causes that we identify with.
Contextual alignment is key. It’s about finding the right platform to deliver the right message to the right people. In addition to providing a user’s old personal content, Timehop features a daily News Item that’s a throwback to a meaningful day in history or pop culture. Today we’re celebrating Smokey Bear’s 74th birthday across Timehop, encouraging folks to remember the iconic character and his important message, “Only YOU can prevent wildfires.” Our nostalgic platform proves powerful for our ad partners and their messaging is met with positive sentiment while users are enjoying the emotional benefits of taking a trip down memory lane. For this reason, we are very thoughtful about the messaging we choose to share.
Lately, we see an uptick in marketers re-purposing old content for their modern-day ads. Take the Super Bowl for example, where vintage ads make a regular appearance. The industry recognizes the effectiveness but I like to think it’s not all just a sales technique. These marketers are giving something to us, something valuable. They remove us, if only briefly, from today’s digital overload. And, they are providing an experience, an emotional connection to the past and an opportunity to remember the people, places and things that have shaped us.

Timehop is proud to be a leader in the digital nostalgia category welcoming millions of users to relive the best of their digital histories. We like to say it’s like #TBT every day. We love seeing over 7 million shares of user content each month. It tells us that our audience is reconnecting over shared memories and we grateful to be a part of that process.
I challenge you to consider how you are inspired by nostalgia in your everyday life. For me, it’s Timehop and my cell phone number. It’s been nearly 15 years since I lived in Pittsburgh and I haven’t changed it. It makes me feel connected in a small, but meaningful way.
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