TV-inspired beauty taps into millennials’ nostalgia, just in time for Halloween, says GlobalData

Get ready to be thrilled this Halloween, as beauty companies are using a relatively new way of targeting customers: retrophilia. This trend sees the release of new TV-inspired beauty products – usually based on shows from the nostalgic 90s and 2000s. Launched just in time for the first post-lockdown Halloween parties, recent examples include Wet n Wild’s Saved by the Bell range, Ulta’s Gilmore Girls line, and Makeup Revolution’s The Simpsons collection. Leading data and analytics company GloalData notes that the mix of nostalgia, ‘self-branding’ and fashion these collaborations offer may be exactly what consumers are looking for.

A survey by GlobalData, suggests that young customers are experimental with their skincare and makeup products, with millennials being the most willing to try new varieties (76% of those surveyed).

Nina Nowak, Senior Consumer Researcher at GlobalData, comments: “In a society that highly values individuality, film and TV-themed makeup taps into that deeply rooted emotion: nostalgia. We feel connected to characters – especially ones that we grew up watching – and having an opportunity to in some way be connected to those shows can be enjoyable. The makeup market is pretty oversaturated, so using such pop culture-inspired themes could help a brand deliver a unique edge and help reach consumers that would not otherwise purchase.”

That brands are largely using 90s and 2000s content as inspiration suggests that millennials are the main target. GlobalData’s survey found that, while millennials were the most likely to experiment with products, Gen Z and Gen X were also good targets.

Nowak continues: “We are witnessing a grand return of the 90s and early 2000s styles in fashion. As fashion and beauty coexist, and influence each other, retrophilia in the makeup category is a natural consequence. The key resonating point of such themed lines is allowing consumers to project a certain image – which is in line with the self-branding trend.”

‘Self-branding’ is a trend that may take many forms – from aspirational purchases of status-driven consumers to a demand for retro-themed products that draw on consumers that long for the past.

Nowark adds: “The recent wave of TV show-inspired beauty aligns with the self-branding trend, showcasing how products can provide a new experience on an emotional level. Those fun releases may help create TV character-inspired looks to impress at post-lockdown parties.”

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