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Yahoo Mail Forever Memories: Harnessing the power of nostalgia

Photo Credits: @sugar73, @vinvola and @theperfectfather

They were Yahoo Mail users in their youth. Today, how can Yahoo Mail continue to address their needs? Reimagining Yahoo’s inbox storage capacity as a digital “treasure trove”, Blue Totem Communications helped Yahoo Mail reach out to users and leveraged nostalgia by tapping into a new milestone: parenthood.

For many digital natives in Southeast Asia who grew up in the early 2000s, Yahoo played a significant role in helping users explore their online identities. They signed up for their first email addresses with Yahoo Mail, which served as the key to exploring the world through cyberspace.

Two decades later, much has changed on and about the Internet, as it has grown to address our daily needs and activities. Many of Yahoo’s former users have now also grown up to become parents with children of their own, the first to be raised in a fully digital world.

Yahoo Mail grew, too. Along with many improvements along the way, it introduced an update that enabled a more personalised user experience. One of the features included an innovative function called ‘Views’, allowing users to easily access and navigate all mail attachments in various categories, including important files, travel documents, event tickets, and photos. A free Yahoo Mail account also came with 1TB inbox storage, a unique proposition and the first of its kind in the market.

These unique features prompted Blue Totem Communications to reimagine how an email account can be utilised to suit one’s needs––and how we could further hyper target its features by identifying a niche audience. Coincidentally, a photo storage and sharing service also announced the end of their free unlimited storage and would start charging consumers for new storage beyond the 15GB limit that comes with every account.

These multiple coincidences presented a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Yahoo Mail to reconnect with its users and introduce its new and innovative capabilities: by leveraging its competitors’ changing policies, as well as tapping into their target audience’s affinity for nostalgia. But how could we connect Yahoo Mail’s unique features to our audience’s life moment in their new role as parents? The answer lay in Yahoo and its parent company Verizon Media’s core mission: to connect people to their passions and communities.

Many parents today are dedicated to documenting and keeping every milestone of their children’s lives. Leveraging this trend, we introduced a novel idea––how Yahoo Mail can be used as a complete digital repository solution by showcasing its offerings that extend beyond the ability to store just photos and videos.

In order to zero in on our target audience, we launched a holistic strategy that included an influencer-led campaign, working with a select group of parents––micro- and nano-influencers–– to inspire, share and amplify this trend as an interesting idea for the target audience to explore. Mindful of an extremely tight budget, we chose to let the campaign grow organically. As a first step, we utilised a hybrid influencer engagement model: 50% were earned and 50% were paid influencers to amplify our campaign’s message, which included Instagram posts, stories and a consumer contest.

It was essential to the campaign that the influencers tapped were to engage in an authentic and relevant way with their followers, sharing anecdotes and stories that were true to their real experiences. Influencers were given guidelines for content inspiration, answering questions such as “What are you going to write in your first email to your child?” and “What are some memories you are planning to store for your child in their Yahoo Mail email address?” that they can share on Instagram stories.

Other themes for content inspiration included snapshots of daily life such as “Stories for my children”, emails about their most special experiences or memories with their children; “Our photo of the day”, photos or snaps based on personalised themes such as dress-up, favourite colours, or storytelling; “Letters from mum”, a written glimpse into parents’ thoughts, hopes, and feelings for their children; and “Milestone moments”, a collection of memories to share as children reach specific milestones such as turning 21, getting their first job, getting married, and other similar life events.

These were options for content that influencers can post on their feed, leaning into sentimentality and personal experiences as they encourage followers to open a Yahoo Mail account for their children and safekeep their own family memories. Amplifying influencer posts were social media contests where influencers encouraged their followers to join the campaign to win vouchers, using the hashtags #YahooMail, #ForeverMemories, #1TB.

Alongside an influencer-led campaign, we bolstered content and messaging through a digital outreach on Yahoo-owned channels, including Yahoo’s Instagram account and on Yahoo Singapore. To supplement these efforts, we worked with Yahoo to run a series of mini polls on @yahoosg on Instagram for one month, touching on aspects of the campaign including fun email tidbits and entertaining memories to increase visibility and maximise user engagement. Social media followers were asked questions such as, “What’s the one childhood memory you wished your parents had saved?” and multiple choice questions about important childhood memories such as family holidays.

Despite the limited budget, the campaign garnered astounding results and elicited positive reaction from its targeted community. Designed to tug at the heartstrings, feedback from social media responses indicated that the campaign achieved this with flying colours, appealing to the sentimental expression and nostalgia of these parents.

Based on responses from social listening and figures, the Yahoo Mail Forever Memories captured its targeted community of then-2000s youths, digital pioneers who came of age during the digital era as they capture and store their most treasured family memories for safe-keeping the best way they know how -- online. The campaign also incited a wave of nostalgia among its target audience, strengthening Yahoo’s brand affinity as an email provider that understood their needs as World Wide Web users then, and continues to provide and anticipate their evolving needs as digital natives now.

Highlighting its unique proposition of 1TB free inbox storage and its ‘Views’ function, Yahoo Mail was able to set itself apart from its competitors, demonstrating its innate understanding of what its users need for file storage, in the midst of growing consumer frustration with existing platforms. More than just an online inbox storage for photos, Yahoo Mail is a unique repository for various kinds of files that serve a purpose and meaning in a person’s life.

In our quest for enduring brand love and affinity, we envision Yahoo Mail Forever Memories as a continuing campaign that will grow and evolve alongside the needs and desires of parents and their children -- today and tomorrow.



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