The Rediffusion Consumer Lab (Red Lab) has coined a new word, POSTALGIA. Postalgia is nostalgia in the future tense or ‘post-nostalgia’.
Researchers at Red Lab observed over the past 100 days of consumer observation that people are suddenly pining for simple things of life they almost took for granted: hugging family, visiting friends, enjoying a weekend with family at the movie theatre and at a restaurant, a long drive in the countryside … all nostalgia, especially punctuated by the Second Wave that has almost brought the virus to our doorsteps. More importantly, they want all these nostalgic activities in their near future. Hence, they are projecting their happy moments of the past into desired moments of the future. This past nostalgia is projecting itself as post nostalgia. And that is what got Red Lab to create the word POSTALGIA.
Postalgia is a new twist to the traditional concept of nostalgia – a nostalgia for tomorrow, for the future, and for what could be, that ironically should be what it used to be! Unlike nostalgia, which is usually applied more to middle aged and older people, postalgia is a more democratic concept. It is open to all and people across demographics and psychographics exhibit it with the same gusto. Kids today are postalgic about going back to school and meeting their friends, house-wives are postalgic about that little bit more space and me-time in the house; fitness freaks are postalgic about their gyms opening up again and the freedom to go for a jog; travellers are thinking about the time they can satiate their wander lust again by travelling to destinations far and near, lovers are pining for the touch and feel of their partners, 1 BHK residents are looking forward to the time when they can be back in office again, dispersed family members are looking forward to that gala ‘coming together’ occasions or big fat weddings, and so on so forth. Nostalgia in forward gear is what most of us desire today. Simple stuff of the past that looks so distant and unattainable in today’s pained environment.
Red Lab had earlier this month shared a report on how the pandemic has added to the English language and impacted it forever, as new words entered our collective vocabulary. Hot on the heels of that, Red Lab has coined a new word called ‘Postalgia’ which it hopes will get picked up by enough people and will soon be part of our everyday language and vocabulary. In fact, Rediffusion has filed a trademark on the usage of the word.
Navonil Chatterjee, Head of Red Lab and the person who coined the term, had this to say: “Postalgiais a new pandemic-driven twist to the traditional concept of nostalgia. We at Red Lab observed this trend of consumers today wanting the future to reflect their pandemic-freepast, andcame up with the term postalgia to describe it. If nostalgia is for the past or the ‘pre’, postalgia is all about the future or the ‘post’. Hence the coinage.”
Dr. Sandeep Goyal, Managing Director of Rediffusion Brand Solutions added: “Trademarking of ‘postalgia’ is just to ensure that Rediffusion and Red Lab are credited for the coinage. We will otherwise encourage its widespread media usage, and its usage by brands. Red Lab is dedicated to greater understanding of consumer behaviour, and to sharing key insights with our clients and peers.”
This is not the first timethat an organization or an individual has sought to trademark a word or concept that they have coined or created. Management guru Peter Drucker is usually credited for coining the term ‘cash cow’ which ironically is used to describe one quadrant of the Boston Consulting Group’s famous, proprietary BCG matrix! In 2005, ad agency JWT introduced the term ‘ubersexual’, the word being coined by JWT’s then-EVP Marian Salzmanin her book ‘The Future of Men’. ‘Uber’ stood for ‘best’ in German, and the term ubersexual connoted the best version of Man, George Clooney being the apex example of that sex.
Another example of a relatively newly coined term in modern marketing is ‘Phygital’, invented by the Australian agency Momentum and claimed for copyright in 2013. Phygital refers to a combination of both physical and digital universe and Phygital marketing involves merging the worlds (and words) of both physical and digital experiences. This term is now widely used to signify a blended approach towards marketing strategy.
Nostalgia marketing has been in vogue all over the world for a long time now. Red Lab firmly believes that Postalgia Marketing too can be big in the days to come. Because of the confined, fearful, claustrophobic life that we are all living today, there will always be a virus-free, inhibition-free, constraint-free, tension-free, fear-free, mask-free future to look forward to. And Postalgia Marketing will become a must-do at a time when the world will be poised to break free from this dreaded pandemic. Sooner, hopefully, than later.At Red Lab, we will continue to monitor this trend closely across demographies, and we will be on the lookout for brands finding different ways to tap into it.