VHS Tapes in 2017? We’ve Seen Stranger Things

November 14, 2017


In over 70 years of business, we’ve seen our fair share of media formats come and go. We witnessed the rise and fall of 8-tracks and cassettes, Betamax and LaserDisc… heck, when we got our start in 1946 we were still a couple years early for the birth of vinyl LPs and 45s! It’s hard not to get attached to the packaging that contained our favorite media, and luckily nostalgic packaging is totally in right now!

Netflix’s “Stranger Things” was a surprise hit of 2016. Set in the 1980s, the show pays homage to the classic movies of the era: a cast of child actors combats a monstrous creature from the dark world of The Upside-Down, taking inspiration from Spielberg’s scripts and visual style. That influence spreads as far as the first season’s box set packaging, which recently launched as a Target exclusive.

No rewinding needed

The show’s first season comes bundled up like a VHS tape (if you don’t know what that is, ask your parents). It’s purposefully weathered, like the kind you might find today at a thrift store or a particularly optimistic garage sale. With Stranger Things season 2’s viewership at 15.8 million in the first three days alone, it’s clear that nostalgia is a powerful player in the world of packaging.

Companies are looking to capitalize on nostalgic packaging on every end of the physical media spectrum. Fans of Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series will recall that the game was released on a beautiful gold cartridge back in the ‘80s. While cartridges may have gone the way of the dodo, gamers will be delighted to see a blast from the past coming to their bookshelf next year.

A link to the past

To celebrate The Legend of Zelda’s 30th anniversary, Nintendo is publishing an encyclopedia that’s designed to look just like the original cartridge. The book is a love letter to the series’ games, stories and characters that have wowed gamers for decades, so it’s only natural that its packaging takes readers right back to their childhoods.

Great design is ageless, and seeing packaging like this is a testament to that fact. Whether you’re trying to capture a new audience or reignite the passion of your existing one, a little bit of nostalgia can go a long way. Give us a call to see how Ernest’s design specialists can tap into your history to bring new excitement to life.