If you’ve been glued to Stranger Things, it may be for reasons other than just a compelling, creepy story. You can’t stop wondering how anyone could make Winona Ryder look so unkempt and unhinged. Or maybe you’re fascinated with remembering how satisfying it used to feel to slam down a wall-mounted phone. What if the makers of Stranger Things know this is why you watch? There are some pretty interesting tools being used to pull in viewers, and they just might work well for your marketing strategy.
Emotional Connection: Whether it’s the haunting selection of a song by The Clash or those large Christmas lights everyone used before twinkle lights were a thing, the set of Stranger Things is flooded with 1980s nostalgia. It’s 1983 in Hawkins, Indiana and the show entices viewers with memories of paneled walls and a world before cell phones, where a kid really could have zero contact with his parents for hours without raising suspicion.
You don’t have to create a decade-centered theme around your marketing strategy, nor does your emotional connection need to be through nostalgia. Instead, it might be a pine scent you add to your product, which happens to remind people of a time when the coziest places in their lives, like their mom’s and grandma’s houses, smelled like pine.
It might be an ad where you highlight the kind of satisfaction a person feels when they’re organized and excelling at time-management, like they will when they use your online scheduling app.
Tap into the feelings that you want your product to elicit, and then utilize them in your marketing strategy.
Authenticity: When you watch Stranger Things, you’ll notice that it looks like 1983, not a sanitized, rose-colored glasses version of 1983. It’s 1983 as you lived it, not 1983 like it may have appeared on Diff’rent Strokes.
This authenticity can be seen in the details. Barb, for instance, isn’t wearing a glammed-up version of 1983 style. She’s wearing those plastic-rimmed glasses that everyone was wearing in the 80s. You can only get better from here, Barb.
Or check out the smocking on the dress that Eleven wears when the boys sneak her into the middle school. That’s the kind of dress that everyone’s grandmother made for them back when sewing was the “right” way to obtain new clothes.
You need authenticity, too, and it’s not just about your appearance. Don’t talk about your service and value and then get into pricing fights with your competitors. Don’t promise great customer service if you plan to underpay and overwork your customer service staff. Define what your brand is all about, and then be that brand.
Some of these things might seem outside the realm of your marketing strategy, but it effectively demonstrates the reach of your brand messaging and how central your marketing strategy is to your business.
Want to explore the ways you can capture some excitement for your brand using emotional connection and authenticity? There’s no Upside Down here at SJC Marketing, but we do have some ideas for you that might make you wonder.