The Eighties Are Back… Kind Of?

Don’t get too excited… big hair and leg warmers are NOT cool again. While the eighties might not be making their way into a new wave of fashion, one old song has made its way into Apple’s top 100 list for a few weeks now.  

Remember the song “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush (here’s a refresher)?  

Currently sitting at number 10 on the list, the 37-year-old song made over $2.3 million in the last few weeks (and still counting) thanks to one pop culture television show: Stranger Things.  

In the most recent season of Stranger Things, a show about a girl named Eleven and her friends who experience supernatural forces (no offense but not my type of show), the entire season is formulated around the song.  

In an article from The New Yorker, it is shared that “Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” has achieved an unprecedented level of belated exposure, and its appearance on “Stranger Things” has produced a cascade of attention that even the cleverest of viral-marketing professionals could not have hoped to engineer.”  

Pop culture often recycles songs or genres of music that fell out of fashion or popularity. For example, today’s generation listens to Greta Van Fleet who is the modern-day Led Zeppelin. With this being said, it’s fair to ask “can old content and trends regain their relevance?” 

Bush’s song, of all the millions of songs in the world, was chosen to be showcased in Stranger Things not because of its “popularity” when it was released. In reality, it wasn’t anything close to popular for the last 40 years. It was chosen because they never let the song die.  

In the marketing world, it’s pretty easy to release content such as a video or an advertisement and see it slowly die off and enter the graveyard of good ideas. However, many marketers share that ideas should have a “half-life” (read more here).  

So, what can we learn from the refurbishing of “Running Up That Hill?”  

Old content can be given a new life – you should always continue to grow its potential. For example, have an advertisement that didn’t gain the attention you wanted?  

Try to find a new way to use it! Turn it into a blog post, change social channels, or break down the long video into short, incremental reels. Breathe more life into your content. If it isn’t working, find the right type of content for what you’re selling. 

Much like Greta Van Fleet, for example, low-ride jeans are coming back. They have, however, been modified to better fit the trends that align with today’s generation.  

Projects and content don’t have to have a short life.  

Old content can come back, you just have to use it in the right, “trendy” way. Thanks to Stranger Things, Kate Bush’s song is a perfect example. 

Courtland Bartosik

Marketing Intern

Courtland is a freshman at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pursing a degree in Media and Journalism with a minor in Data Science.