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Memory Lane Ads infused with nostalgia drive customers your way.

By Jerry Fisher

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"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 nostalgia."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.

The late copy guru Victor Schwab recommends using this"subcutaneous advertising" approach--that is, advertisingthat gets under consumers' skin with recollections of old--inhis seminal How to Write a Good Advertisement.

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