How Pop Culture Impacts Your Advertising

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Think about all of the advertisements you see on TV and hear on the radio. If we had to bet, a good number of them feature people and references from pop culture. While it would be easy to say that using aspects of pop culture helps improve the performance of advertisements, it’s deeper than that.

Pop culture can have a bigger impact on your advertising than simply getting more attention for showing a familiar face.

Pop Culture Makes Room for Nostalgia

When brands debate over whether to include pop culture icons or references in their advertising, they often think it’s best to feature today’s biggest celebrity. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, a common trend we’ve seen over the past few years is to include nostalgic pop culture references in advertising.

For example, take a look at this Kraft Mac & Cheese commercial. Using Vanilla Ice, a bonafide 90’s pop culture icon, helped appeal to the parents who remember dancing to his music as teens — and who would actually be purchasing Kraft’s product.

Everyone likes taking a trip back in time once in a while, so using older pop culture references can help make your advertisements more appealing and memorable.

Pop Culture Can Change Advertising Media

For the past several years, there has been a growing shift from print to digital advertising. However, one particular medium is making a bit of a comeback because of an Oscar-winning film: billboards.

The film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, tells the true, heart-wrenching story of a woman who uses billboard advertisements to call out, what she believes is, an apathetic police department in her town. While one may initially think billboard advertisements are on the decline, this film proves the opposite.

Since its release, the film has inspired an increase in billboard advertisements, especially around social and political causes. It just goes to show that featuring certain forms of advertisements in pop culture can affect the platforms used to advertise real products and ideas.

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