February 5, 2024

Get in Grandpa, we’re going shopping: the power of nostalgia in 2024

Molly Kleier

Strategy Intern

What do blue eyeshadow, karate, and your grandpa’s closet have in common? From the surface, nothing at all, but according to ‘Pinterest Predicts’, they are all part of 2024’s ‘good old days’ revival. 

As a new year begins and ‘ins-and-outs’ are taking over your social feed, new trend predictions are flooding in. What will be the Stanley Cup or ChatGPT of 2024? After carefully combing through these alerts, there is one emotion that will radically impact your next 12 months of trends: nostalgia. 

One of the most powerful human emotions, nostalgia is typically used by brands simply and visually – often paying tribute to it instead of compelling people to feel it. However, our new view of nostalgia is going to turn the tables on advertisers this year. Our culture craves that deeper connection to the past, in times that we lived through and for some, a time of which we have only heard stories. While some argue that nostalgia ‘take[s] progress for granted and replaces feelings for memory’, I say it has the potential to inspire new ideas, rooted in tradition and curated life experience.

Past Entering the Present

Our need for nostalgia didn’t appear overnight. Since the resurgence of polaroid cameras, vinyl, ‘retro’ pour-over coffee, and the entire lifestyle aesthetic that went along with it, almost every current generation (except for Gen A) has been living for the past. As we dive deeper into each of 2024’s predicted trends, notice how nostalgia is playing a leading role – but in unexpected ways. 

Trend Specifics 

According to Pinterest Predicts, ‘in 2024, bodycare will have a major moment. Boomers and Gen Z will double down on luxury lotions, in-home spa experiences, and some serious SPF’. (Pinterest) The intriguing note for this trend is that Gen Z and Boomers are not commonly associated with one another and rarely would be thought of as having similar interests. While it may be for different reasons, both generations are tapping into self-care and personal distinction. Boomers are looking back into the balms and treatments from generations before them and Gen Z is looking towards higher-quality, sustainable, and personalized sets of products. This leads us to one of 2024’s most anticipated forecasted trends, ‘The Eclectic Grandpa’. 

Yes, you read that right the second time too. In 2024, who will you turn to for fashion advice? Your grandpa. Gen Z and Boomers are leading the way in an eccentric and expressive style. We can see that Boomers are inching towards their grandpa days, but why is this so appealing to a 20-year-old? Gen Z is a generation whose childhood and adolescence were bookended with violence and a global pandemic. As a generation, we are grasping for comfort, stability, and a time seemingly less complicated than today. One of the most thought-provoking takes on the ‘eclectic grandpa’ trend is that the style in and of itself was pieced together and built by people who lived full lives and found their own unique style; only for their great-grandchildren to sport it fifty years later without those life experiences.

In addition to wearing your grandpa’s clothes, other trends that point towards 2024’s wave of nostalgia are: 

And in my opinion, most importantly: 

It’s Different This Time 

While it is documented throughout history that nostalgia weaves in and out of our culture, this wave has new meaning in our time of strategic marketing. The further we lean into the lessons and insights people of the past learned from these trends, the deeper we can understand the human truths that lead to meaningful advertising.  

What should you do about it?

Just as your grandpa might pair black shoes with a brown belt, there is no ‘right way’ of going about these trends. However, I think the deeper meaning behind this nostalgic year leads us to find our own taste and help others do the same. As an industry, we have been caught up in acting on fast, fading trends. 2024 is the year for building a legacy consumer base that is at the core of every strategy. The ‘legacy consumer base’ is the community that firmly and consistently supports your brand over a long period of time. This category is broadening for brands leaning into nostalgia, with the addition of Gen Z. While Gen Z’s support isn’t decades long, their brand loyalty will continue to increase over the next year.

As a brand, your social strategy should effectively communicate the unique attributes that amount to your values and company culture. Having a balance of self-aware product content, employee POVs, and personality posts will gather a longer-lasting community of brand loyalists who find a deeper connection in your social presence. Your campaigns should focus on your brand legacy as we move back into slower, higher-quality products. 

The most important takeaway from 2024 trend forecasting is to find your brand’s taste. If your brand were a person, who would they be? What would their Spotify Wrapped look like? What books are they reading? Would they keep a journal? If so, what would they write? Which 2024 trend would they lean into? What are they uniquely nostalgic for? 

We are in a world of highly curated content, driven by SEO. While nothing’s changing on this front, I challenge you to use these tools more insightfully to build nostalgic campaigns and content that deeply resonates with your legacy community.  


Pinterest Predicts 2024 Report

Stop Pining for the Good Old Days

The Menu Trends that Define Dining Right Now

70’s Desserts are Back

Pantone Color of the Year

X Feed: Life was Better 50 Years Ago

The Ezra Klein Show: How to Discover Your Own Taste

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