Although there has been recent interest in the measurement of advertising-evoked nostalgia, the dimensionality and generalizability of the related scales are restricted to the national/cultural boundaries of Western nations. In the present study, we develop an emic scale to measure ad-evoked personal nostalgia in an important emerging economy, India, refining and purifying the scale with seven separate studies (with a combined sample size of 1823). The resulting scale contains five dimensions: past imagery, physiological reactions, positive emotions, negative emotions and collective nostalgia. In the present study, we follow rigorous scale development procedures, and we also go beyond by comparing the effectiveness of our emic scale with a previous scale developed in France (etic), and subsequently we test our measure in another (culturally-congruent) market – Bangladesh. Our study emphasizes the need for culture-specific measures (emic), and we present important theoretical and managerial insights.
The concept of nostalgia has been an area of significant research interest over the years (e.g., Brown, Kozinets, & Sherry Jr, 2003; Davis, 1979; Holak & Havlena, 1998; Holbrook, 1993; Merchant, Latour, Ford, & Latour, 2013). Nostalgia has been found to be relevant across age groups, social classes, gender and ethnicity (Greenberg, Koole, & Pyszczynski, 2004). The nostalgic experience comprises cognitive and affective dimensions and is associated with preferences for products and services. It has been shown to influence purchase behaviors (Merchant et al., 2013; Merchant, Ford, Dianoux, & Herrmann, 2016). In practice, the nostalgic appeal has been extensively used in advertising for cola, beer, cereals, insurance and banking (Sullivan, 2009). Owing to its potent role in driving consumer intentions, nostalgic advertising appeals have also been used in different countries. However, the measures of nostalgia and more specifically, nostalgia stimulated by marketing communication, have been sparse, and the ones that have been developed (such as Merchant et al., 2013, or Merchant et al., 2016) were developed in a US context.