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MSNBC reports on the newest or maybe the oldest – marketing trend:

“From Walt Disney Co. to Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. to Burger King Corp., corporations are resurrecting decades-old mascots, logos and slogans in a bid to cash in on consumer nostalgia for the ‘good old days’ and the craze for anything classic, vintage or retro,” MSNBC writes, noting that in the past year alone, “Anheuser-Busch launched a series of retro Budweiser cans, Yum Brands Inc. unit KFC revitalized the name ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken,’ and General Mills Inc. brought back the Jolly Green Giant from a decade-long hibernation.”

And there are plenty of other marketers following this trend, with companies as diverse as Kellogg’s, Playboy, and Levi Strauss looking to old marketing themes to generate some new buzz.

KC's View:
It was just a week ago that we reported on how Bayer Consumer Care has recreated its famous 1972 “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” Alka-Seltzer ad. The big difference: this time, it stars Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts of “Everybody Loves Raymond” fame.

Since we filed that report, we’ve actually seen the commercial, and it works – mostly because Boyle and Roberts have so much audience goodwill because of their longtime sitcom roles. (It’s nice to have them on TV…it feels comfortable.)

But watching that commercial also gave us the same feeling the MSNBC story did. Are these retro approaches being launched because retro is cool? Or because nobody today has very good ideas? Do we respond to these commercials because we remember who we were when we first saw them? Or because they make us feel good about the product being sold.

Just curious. We’re not sure what the answer is.

When we think about good television commercials these days, we tend to immediately think of the Capital One “Hun” ads that keep changing and evolving in different directions – they’re funny, they make the point, and the agency keeps finding new directions in which to take it. Plus, when you think of Huns, you think of Capital One…which is a pretty good achievement. (Plus, they alternate the ads with the less funny David Spade commercials…but the counterpoint seems to work.)

Or, we think of the Geico commercials, which keep finding new and surprising ways to say “I just saved a lot of money on car insurance”…so much so that this line has become a kind of catchphrase.