We’re getting ready to flip the switch on our Brand Track: Super Bowl 2012 Imagedashboard. As we get ready to launch, we’ve also been looking at the data, understanding the drivers behind the key indicators that are comprising our Engaged Consumer ranking. One theme that has unexpectedly emerge, and which we think will be interesting to track, is the impact of nostalgia on consumer reaction.

You’ve probably noticed it yourself. Matthew Broderick revamping his Ferris Bueller role to promote Honda, the Star Wars Barking ad for VW, and Seinfeld endorsing Acura. The 80′s and 90′s are having a big influence on the creative for this year’s Super Bowl Commercials, even Madonna is showing up at half-time. But is the audience recognizing and responding to these references?

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The team performed an early analysis of the data and noticed that viewers of the early-released ads were reacting to the 80s references especially around the Honda ad and Ferris. Agencies that incorporated 80s icons into their ads appear to be making a big effort to reach the Gen-X and Gen-Y crowds in the market to buy a new car. But as Paul, one of our senior analysts and touch-stone for Gen-Y cool said when he saw this emerging theme: “Gen-Y says WTF with all the 80′s references”.

We’ll keep tracking this unexpected consumer reaction to the commercials to see if  conversations continue to respond to this wave of 80s nostalgia.