We investigated the triggers and functions of nostalgia in consumers' processing of television advertisements in relation to aging. Study 1 explored the contents and triggers of nostalgic experiences by requesting 451 undergraduates to write four different nostalgic descriptions (of scenes, songs, events, and commercials). An analysis of the descriptions using text mining revealed that nostalgic reactions occur in response to events that had been frequently repeated in the past and were separated from the present by a long time interval. Study 2 explored the functions of nostalgia among 737 consumers (15-65 years old) using a survey. Structural equation modeling revealed five steps in the processing of nostalgic advertisements. Aging facilitates a predisposition toward nostalgia. Highly nostalgic consumers are more sensitive to nostalgic triggers. Nostalgic triggers facilitate the retrieval of past events and memorization of advertisements that evoke familiarity and positive attitudes, which, in turn, facilitates the intention to purchase. Nostalgic predispositions and sensitivity to nostalgic triggers increase with age. This tendency was higher among men than among women. We proposed a model of nostalgia based on frequent repetition in the past and a long time-lag between the nostalgia-inducing event and the present.
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