Cost of Living·Listen

Does the smell of CK One take you back? How the pandemic has ramped up nostalgia marketing

The trend to look back has kicked into high gear during the pandemic, and it means big sales for businesses tapping into the zeitgeist of yesteryear. Is there a downside?
This CK One ad is from 1994; the bottle has been redesigned for the fragrance's modern incarnation. (Calvin Klein)

CK One. Punky Brewster. Pokemon cards. Sega Genesis. A few among thousands of retro flashback products back on the market to try and tap into the power of nostalgia.

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The trend to look back has kicked into high gear during the pandemic, and it means big sales for businesses tapping into the zeitgeist of yesteryear.

But there's a downside to too much nostalgia — a concept that actually grew out of a medical diagnosis!

Producer Tracy Fuller asks — what's so bad about our collective yearning for the "before times?"


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