Every decade has its icons, from Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s to Michael Jackson in the ’80s, but there’s something about 1990s pop culture in particular that has stuck in the hearts and minds of today’s content producers. While the reasoning behind the rapid ascent of 90s nostalgia is an article for another time, there’s no denying that the era wasn’t just a launching pad for many celebrities that still reign over Hollywood today, but it was also chock-full of enduring marketing trends.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the cultural icons of the times, the lessons we can learn from their success, and their influence on modern-day branding.
Jerry Seinfeld, Seinfeld
It might have been a “show about nothing,” but Seinfeld generated countless catch phrases like “close talker,” “yada yada,” and “man hands.” Google features a “Festivus” pole alongside its December 23rd search results, and the “Soup Nazi” himself once made an appearance in a Super Bowl spot. It’s easy to make the connection between Jerry’s cynical sense of humor, the megalomania of the show’s core characters, and today’s selfie-focused social media obsession. If Seinfeld was still airing today, it would be all about the modern “nothings” that drive the consumer landscape, like Tinder faux-pas and selfie sticks.
Melissa Joan Hart
As Clarissa Darling in Nickelodeon’s Clarissa Explains It All, Melissa Joan Hart did more than rock scrunchies and foil her brother’s mischievous plans. With a show format that had her speaking directly to viewers, she invited them into her world. The YouTube stars of today that brands rely on for influencer marketing can thank this straight-talking teen, who blazed a trail for vlogging in the age of VHS.
Jennifer Aniston, Friends Cast