Digital pebbles

Clarke Mulder Purdie on PR, media and other random topics

The Peter Andre Effect

Posted by Emily on April 28, 2008

I wonder if there is a formula that can work out the exact length of time between simply losing interest in something and the point where the nostalgia kicks in. In order to work out this complex formula I’m sure one will have to take into account your age, the level of interest you had in whatever it may be and probably some fractions.

If there is such a formula, Cadbury knows it and isn’t telling us. If you are going to aim to market something based on nostalgia, you have to get the timing just right. If you don’t leave it long enough you just appear to be flogging a dead horse, leave it too long and anyone who remembers it will be too old to care anymore. Nostalgia, when harvested intelligently can rally even the most conscientious shopper, evoking in them a warm fuzzy feeling, reminding them of a time when they were younger, firmer and therefore happier.

Remember the Wispa? This chocolate bar was discontinued 5 years ago owing to plummeting sales, yet last autumn someone at Cadbury cracked the formula and realised the time was ripe for a revival. Well, that and the fact that there was a huge Facebook campaign about it. I would like to point out though, that not everything people campaign for on Facebook is worth pursuing, just in case you were wondering.

The limited edition was a phenomenal success and it is coming back permanently. The interesting thing is that Cadbury replaced Wispa with the same bar in 2003, just with a different name. No one wants that, they all want the original (identical) bar. It is clearly not about the chocolate then, nor is it about the branding (that has not changed). The only thing that has changed is the dewy-eyed look from the consumer.

The lack of interest that damaged sales in the first place has somehow transformed into spend-encouraging nostalgia and the latter is far more powerful than the former. The ability to turn apathy into public campaign is surely a marketing ability exclusive to those in brightly coloured tights and capes.

This is my warning then, be aware that nostalgia can make us all do crazy, irrational things by making us think that we enjoyed them the first time round. Do you remember a time, before a certain celebrity jungle show, that Peter Andre was just a distant memory? Look what your nostalgia has done. I hope you are happy.


2 Responses to “The Peter Andre Effect”

  1. Gravemind said

    aw… I remember a time… this article makes me think, a little… great one, I like it.

  2. melpoluck said

    hehehe this made me laugh emily. . . .

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