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Memory Lane

Ads infused with nostalgia drive customers your way.

This story appears in the September 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

"Remember how it used to be?" That question can be apowerful inducement to buying a once-laborious product that hasbeen transformed into a zippy new wonder-widget. The visualcontrast can be dramatic--think of commercials for kitchen gadgetsand gardening gizmos in which the old is juxtaposed with thenew.

This approach might be termed "negative ."But memorabilia can provoke a strong positive response, too.Bringing back sentimental favorites of another era is a way to makethe good ol' days pay off, especially for nostalgia-loving babyboomers. Check out the audio aisle at your local electronicsemporium, and you'll likely find a radio housed in the retrolook of a bygone era. The same goes for hardware, furniture and, ofcourse, fashion. Advertisers are very strategic in how they pushconsumers' nostalgia-inducing buttons.

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