Group 4

Q+A with Digi: The noughties revival and nostalgia marketing

Digi x Creative Review on what it takes to successfully tap into the Y2K aesthetic


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Creative Review saw our work for Topicals and Peachy Den and asked us how brands are adopting noughties inspiration into their strategy, the role social is playing and the secrets to successful nostalgia marketing. Here’s what we had to say:

Creative Review: What are some of the most interesting elements of the noughties revival that you've noticed, and how do you think it differs from previous nostalgia trends? 

Digi: The noughties revival is more expansive than previous nostalgia trends. For example, it extends far beyond fashion – with 2000s tech from bedazzled flip phones and old school iPod to smartphone cases designed to look like Motorola Razr acting as accessories. We’ve also seen Gen Z holistically embrace tropes of the decade, through reclaiming the mindset and lifestyle, not just the aesthetic, of the 2000s ‘bimbo’ and other noughties archetype.

CR: If the noughties aesthetic is largely being driven by people on social media, what part do you think brands can/should play in the phenomenon? What's the secret to brands embracing the trend in the right way? 

Digi: The secret of doing this well is a founder or brand gatekeeper who came of age in the 2000s. Similar to how millennial-founded brand Bleach London embodied the ‘90s during its revival in the '00s – some of our Gen Z founded clients have felt anchored by the 2000s. It evokes a sense of comfort and euphoria, every reference point means something. Their minds are like mood boards and they can mix and match, pooling together elements of their past to curate the future. Getting this right, and by that I mean doing it authentically, creates an invaluable emotional connection that big brands will spend millions to replicate (and still fail). 

CR: What role are social platforms like TikTok playing in leading the Y2K nostalgia? 

Digi: TikTok acts as a space for users to freely experiment with style, whilst finding inspiration in-app, whether that’s moodboard videos populated with paparazzi pics of noughties-era Paris Hilton or a Gen Z-er dressed exactly like noughties-era Paris Hilton. It’s also common practice to fluidly hop between aesthetics and inhabit different style personas, like the 2000s bimbo.

Read the full article by Aimée McLaughlin here.

✨ Contributing Fairies

  • Biz Sherbert, Culture Editor 
  • Jane Macfarlane, Creative Brand Director
  • Eve Lee, Founder

✨ Digi Reading Recs

  • The History of Y2K - Exploring 2021’s Hottest Trend (New Wave Magazine, 2022)
  • Burned out Gen Zers are turning to the Y2K era for comfort and driving the ‘throwback’ economy (Fortune, 2022)

For more content like this, explore the rest of the Digiverse, or connect with us on TikTok or Instagram. If you’re a brand or business and want to inspire your audience in innovative ways, reach out to our strategic & creative lab