There’s not a lot more potent than one’s own memory. We can sit and dwell for seconds, minutes, or hours in a moment which happened years ago and feel like it anew. There’s a strong sentimentality, but, also, it’s comforting. The world moves very fast nowadays: twenty-four hour news gives every event a competing importance and there’s a deep pressure to keep up. It’s overwhelming. Nostalgia, though, is reassuring. It’s either a distraction or it’s the thing which triggers a certain resilience, a reminder it’s always okay.
Nostalgia’s position in the culture has taken on great importance in the last decade. It’s become a key reason to produce certain films or TV shows (remakes and more remakes), why certain music has become popular. Marketers are aware of its allure, of its power. They’ve not been shy in deploying it and talking up its great effect.” Is it effective, though?
Nostalgia is reassuring, that much has been established. Many well-established, global brands have begun to rerun old designs and create new products. Sporting brands, especially, who are now more akin to lifestyle brands, have used this trend to good effect. Adidas have brought back their 1998 Predator Accelerator soccer boots for 2021. They were worn by icons of the era like Steven Gerrard and Zinedine Zidane and the boots have been blacked-out for their re-release, to update them.
Sports and nostalgia have a different relationship than movies or music and nostalgia. Sports teams are designated to years, eras. Movies are too but they can experience “live.” There’s a for-the-first-time feeling when you watch a film for the 1970s or hear a song from the 1990s: they’re somewhat timeless. Sports, though, tend to need to be experienced as they are happening. Sports can be condensed into seconds and scorelines much more effectively than movies or music.
This is why sports films and docuseries, like The Last Dance, are so popular, as opposed to reruns of old games: the narrative is imbued into these productions better than the recorded event. In recent years, due to the amount of money in sport, basketball and soccer, as notable examples, have fundamentally changed. The traditional models of expectation and enjoyment have changed. There’s more data been tracked and informing decisions which has altered how teams approach scoring.
A lot of fans can head to NetBet sports with much more information and knowledge than ever before. There is division, then. Those who live with the nostalgia for sports as it used to be and the excitement for what sport is and will become. Nostalgia can bridge this gap.
Adidas’s Predator boots will appeal to those who wore them back in ’98 and, also, to those who never did. Nostalgia works for those who have specific memories and for those who didn’t and couldn’t experience those things, because it feeds into a feeling about memory, as opposed to the memory itself. It reminds you not of the boots you played in but of the feeling of getting new boots. Nostalgic products are idiosyncratic and universal.
Nostalgia’s power, for some people, has become tiring. All the remakes and re-releases which major film and television studios, fashion designers, and music labels have pumped into the market has made people desperate for originality. Gamers have made their industry aware of this desire too, both for video games and online casinos. Sites like NetBet casino games and studios like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Infinity Ward have sought to update more traditional mechanics and establish new models of play. The popularity of both suggests effectiveness.
Nostalgia gives and it takes. It provides a comforting feeling before the discomfort arrives when there feels like there’s nothing new. It’s best in moderation as a tool for individual companies, but for culture it’ll be rampant.