The Appeal of Throwback Packaging via “Stranger Things”

Sunrise Packaging is proud to be a Minnesota company. We take pride not only in the work that we produce, but the work that’s done around us in “L’Etoile du Nord.”  That includes projects that inspire nostalgia, like any good throwback packaging. 

So it was with no small amount of excitement that, when one of the lead characters of Netflix’s series “Stranger Things” appeared on screen wearing a hooded sweatshirt from none other than our local Science Museum of Minnesota, we were pumped to hear that the sweatshirt would be recreated. 

And it seems that we were not the only ones. The Science Museum of Minnesota’s online store crashed upon the timed release. However, as the social media accounts for the museum reiterated, there was an unlimited supply. All told, it’s rumoured they sold over 80,000 pieces of ‘Thunder Lizard’ apparel in one day. 

If that doesn’t speak to the buying power of nostalgia, I’m not sure what does. 

How Nostalgia Can Inspire Throwback Packagingthrowback packaging

“Stranger Things” is a massive hit for Netflix. Any promotion that can tie back to it–directly or indirectly–is bound to have a leg up in the bid for capitalizing on consumer nostalgia. But it’s not the only example. At the height of AMC’s “Mad Men” popularity, brown liquor (whiskey, brandy, etc) outsold vodka and *clear* liquors for the first time in decades. The ad folk’s penchant for Old Fashioneds, as well as 60’s fashion, influenced a wide variety of industries. 

Don Draper of “Mad Men” fame gave a stirring pitch in season one based on nostalgia, calling it delicate, but potent. When it comes to your business, helping customers connect with your brand is key. This is where nostalgia becomes a powerful tool.

NCR Silver lists some of the ways in which we can learn from the response to shows like these. 

Throwback Packaging Allows Customers to Embrace Something Familiar

Familiarity is one of the most important factors in creating throwback packaging. It might link customers’ back to their childhoods or something else in their minds. This doesn’t have to be a literal recreation, like with the examples above. Taking inspiration within the culture and finding relevant themes can achieve the same effect. 

Look for Opportunities to Blend Old and New

Like we said above, throwback packaging doesn’t have to be an exact recreation. Board games are one example. While games like Clue and Monopoly have been played for decades, they’ve found new ways to entice buyers. Game makers are resurrecting old packaging styles and typefaces, inspiring memories in customers.  However, they’re also adding modern, interactive features that appeal to today’s audience. 

Attract Brand Advocates with Throwback Packaging 

Creating brand advocates isn’t an easy thing for most industries. But from what we’ve seen, nostalgic packaging is one way there. Make sure to include hashtags, social channel handles, and other information is included on custom packaging. Not only does this generate more buzz, but allows you track more clearly as well!

DnD Custom Game Box

If you’re watching Netflix’s Stranger Things, take note: no spoilers appear below, but there is minor discussion on plot points.  The introduction to the main characters features a scene that would convey very different things just a few years ago. They’re sitting around, playing Dungeons & Dragons (or DnD).  Since the show takes place in 1983, it’s clear that they’re being depicted as classic 80’s *nerds,* so to speak. And to drive the message home, they’re also part of the AV Club, get picked on by bullies, and are general outsiders. However, with the relatively recent rise of “geek chic,” these kids are endearing through our 2016 lenses. Also, DnD is experiencing a resurgence of popularity due to all this attention. Since Sunrise Packaging is in the business of boxes, it seems appropriate to turn our attention to making a custom game box for the new wave of DnD-ers.

DnD Needs Assessment

Although online versions exist, this is a game best played in person with a group. It’s a group effort. As the OG of fantasy role playing tabletop games, the custom game box needs to be as iconic as its contents. Color schemes typically fall on the darker end of the spectrum, highlighted with fiery reds, oranges and yellows.

The party of adventurers might always meet at one person’s home, or the set might travel around. This means the box needs to be both durable and easy-to-move. Light, built in handles of some sort, but rigid and strong enough to withstand  transportation. DnD game boards usually fold up, but a custom game board might need more room to lay flat. Some kind of rigid insert might be necessary. Partially for presentation, but also to keep the pieces and dice intact. It’s kind of like using a peg board for tool organization. When they’re outlined, you know exactly which one is missing. Same goes for a custom box insert.

DnD Custom Game Box

So what have we arrived at when it comes to a custom game box, specifically for DnD?

For starters, a custom two-piece setup box is the classic game box style.* The turned edge style is also ideal for the design and strength components. Turned edge boxes are made of chipboard, which is extremely durable. It also lends itself well to a variety of wraps which can best display dynamic DnD graphics and colors. Further custom options can include foil stamped linen or embossed fibers for a slightly Medieval-like feel.

To keep the innards and gaming items in place, the set up box is perfect for multiple types of inserts. Think custom die cut foam, thermoformed tray, insider liners…the options vary as much as DnD gameplay. Add in some sort of handle and you’ve got a party in a box. Literally.

Get in touch with our sales department to start work on your custom game box!

*Did you know Sunrise Packaging has established a reputation for custom game box and game board packaging?