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Nostalgia Marketing with ‘80s & ‘90s Retro Gifts & Giveaways

published: April 7, 2021

To stand out in today’s competitive market, it’s essential that your brand think outside the box and come up with unique and memorable ways to reach and connect with your target audience. Think about the number of times you received a promotional pen or lanyard. Now, think about the last time you received a custom printed tie dye bag, retro candy, or a Rubik’s cube.

Retro gifts can set you apart from the crowd and leave an impression on both young and older generations alike. Nostalgia marketing can be highly effective in connecting and engaging with employees, current clients, and potential customers, as it typically evokes happy memories and feelings. When you personalize retro corporate gifts, those positive feelings will be directly associated with your brand. Reminders of simpler times and the good old days are especially welcome in a rapidly changing and uncertain world.

To help you capitalize on reemerging fashion trends and products from the ‘80s and ‘90s, here is a list of our most popular and iconic retro promotional ideas:

Popular ‘80s Fashion & Product Trends:

80s Nostalgia Marketing
Customized Scrunchies

Scrunchies – Arguably one the most popular revival trends, scruchies are back in full force making a huge comeback. Custom scrunchies aren’t just for marketing to Generation X. They have been notably popular with millenials and in the education industry with sports teams or sororities purchasing them in bulk.

Rubiks Cub with Logo

Rubiks Cube – Whether you could solve it in under a minute or not, the Rubik’s Cube was sometimes the most addicting puzzle and could leave you twisting and turning for hours. Add your company’s logo to this classic ‘80s puzzle to add some fun and games into your next marketing campain.

Imprinted Sweat Bands

Sweat Wristbands – It’s hard to picture ‘80s fashion without thinking of popular accessories like sweatbands, wristbands and legwarmers. With athleisure apparel rising in popularity as many Americans work from home and try to stay active, custom wristbands are a fun up to the minute giveaway. Plus, they are lightweight, flat and easy to mail!

Custom Metal Lunchbox

Metal Lunchbox – This old-fashioned style metal lunch box offers ample advertising space to display your logo or message in full color. To maximize creativity and presentation, select 3-4 other promo products to include in the lunch box to create a kit. We offer in-house kitting and drop shipping services that take the burden off your hands and allow you to get a one-of-a-kind gift to your clients and employees easily.

Illustration of people in 80s style and products
Cassette Shaped Bluetooh Speaker with Logo

Cassette Tape and Vintage Radio Bluetooth Speakers – Master generational marketing when you showcase your logo on one of these retro speakers that have the look of the ‘80s but also feature the latest Bluetooth technology.

Customized Yo-Yo

Yo-Yo’s – These light-up yo-yo’s will bring back memories of tricks like “walk the dog” and “around the world.”

Customized Tie-Dye T-Shirt

Tie-Dye – Double throwback alert! This colorful groovy style from the ’60s that came back with a vengeance in the ‘80s is back for an encore, in not just apparel but also everyday items such as bags, lanyards, water bottles, and notebooks!

Putty with Customized Container

Putty – Putty, which today’s generation calls “slime,” was invented in the ‘50s and is remembered fondly by children of the ‘80s. Today it comes stored in the same colored eggs that you can imprint with your company’s logo. 

Custom Throwback Giveaways from the ‘90s

90s Nostalgia Marketing
Customized Gel Pens

Gel Pens – Write Paper Mate® InkJoy® Gels into your next marketing campaign to add some fun and color. Pair them with more ‘90s giveaways like branded neon notebooks or glitter journals for note taking (or doodling) during meetings.

90s Style Water Bottle and Cup

Water Bottles with Straws – Half the fun of drinking out of water bottles and cups were, and still are, bendy straws and color changing straws.

Illustration of People with 90s Style and Products
Customized Slap Bracelet

Slap Bracelets – There was always something satisfying about slapping a bracelet on, over and over. Vintage Slap Bracelets may be quintessential ‘90s fashion accessories, but they are beloved by all ages. Customized slap bracelets can be used for any occasion or purpose such as an awareness wristlet or even a stress reliever. The Reflective Snap Wrist Band has become a popular giveaway for schools, 5K races, and events.

Customized Fanny Pack

Fanny Packs – These days, they’re commonly referred to as waist bags, hip packs, or belt bags. No matter what you call them, fanny packs are cool again, and this trend shows no sign of slowing. They’re perfect for handy access at your side and especially gained love during the pandemic for carrying PPE essentials like a mask, sanitizer and touch tools. They are also offered in a variety of styles such as fitness waist packs or brand name options like the Koozie® Fanny Pack.

Memory Game with Logo

Memory Games – Do you remember this blast from the past? Test your memory by repeating a sequence of lights and tones with the Total Recall Memory Game. This nostalgic gift makes a great desk accessory to keep your employees minds sharp. Whether you are looking for retro gifts from the ‘80s or ‘90s promotional products, electronic memory games fit the bill as they are lovingly remembered by Gen X and Millennials alike.

Retro Sunglasses with logo

Retro Specs Sunglasses - Offered in a variety of bright colors, these retro pinhole lens glasses make the best giveaways for your next event, tradeshow, or virtual happy hour.

Retro Candy in a Custom Box

Throwback Candy – From fireballs, to gum tape, to tootsie rolls, you can satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth with all the classics. Add your logo or message to a box of retro candy from your favorite decade from the ‘50s-‘90s that will include an assortment of popular candies from that decade.

Other noteworthy throwback items include diner mugs, vintage gumball machines, sock monkeys and foam Koozies. Shop for more fun giveaways and unique promo items.