10 Vintage Advertising Ideas That Revive the Neon Sign Throwback Trend

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Written By Jessica

There’s something so “retro” about neon signs. They evoke memories of bygone eras, which are synonymous with nostalgia for many people. As a result, the neon sign trend has reemerged, with more and more business owners using them to advertise their brands.

Neon signs’ eye-catching and retro aesthetic quickly became the standard of vintage advertising in the modern age. So if you’re looking for some creative business ideas, why not revive this trend in your establishment?

If you’re ready to jump on board, let’s explore the many ways to use neon signs and other vintage elements for marketing your business!

Is Vintage Marketing Still Effective Today?

Can something from the past still be effective today? Many marketing experts and consumers say yes! And here’s the reason behind its success: emotional connection.

People seek comfort in nostalgic events during difficult times, giving them a little hope for their future. If properly incorporated into their marketing strategies, consumers would be willing to pay extra for a product or service that makes them feel this way.

As a result, most companies use this as an opportunity to connect with their target audience on an emotional level. Therefore, it only makes sense that nostalgia is influential in many marketing campaigns.

A Word of Caution

That said, there are factors to take into account while creating nostalgic campaigns. Sure, they are likely profitable, but it doesn’t always guarantee success.

For example, if you are a small business, you must focus on marketing genuine content. Otherwise, consumers will easily see through the inauthentic marketing and turn their backs.

Another factor is your unique selling points. Almost every industry uses the nostalgic approach to appeal to consumers, from TV shows to social media posts.

In other words, you aren’t the only one who does it, so people may easily brush you off. However, vintage marketing can be powerful if you have something unique to offer and can introduce it right.

The Timeless Charm of Neon Signs

Next, let’s talk about one of the most effective retro marketing tools today: neon signs.

They’ve been around for decades, demonstrating their popularity and efficacy. Nowadays, neon signs are more popular than ever in personal and commercial settings! Here are the reasons why:

1. Neon Signs Make Decorating Simpler and Better

Neon signs provide a vibrant and colourful aesthetic that sets the mood of a space. They significantly spruce up a dull area to a point where there’s no need to stuff any more decorative pieces. This is ideal if you want to add a touch of personality to your space without breaking the bank.

2. LED Neon Lights are Energy-Efficient

You can leave LED neon lights on 24/7 without worrying about high electricity bills! In fact, frequently switching them on and off may only cause them to wear out faster.

3. Neon Signs are Easy to Handle

Modern-day neon signs are lightweight, weatherproof (the outdoor type), easy to install, and low maintenance.

You can hang them up, take them down, or transfer them without trouble. They make convenient decorative pieces if you want to change or clean your shop’s decor regularly.

4. Neon Light Designs are Limitless

Neon lights are extremely versatile and have an extensive array of choices. You can put a quote, symbol, icon, or any other image you want on a neon sign.

You can even customize your signs to reflect your brand better. Moreover, you can use them for indoor, outdoor, personal, and commercial purposes—limitless!

Vintage Marketing Ideas That Help Revive the Neon Sign Throwback Trend

Vintage Marketing Ideas That Help Revive the Neon Sign Throwback Trend

Many companies are now taking a nostalgic approach to branding, and you should, too! Here are ten ways to revive the neon sign trend and other nostalgic elements in your marketing efforts, whether for social media, branding, or sales strategy marketing.

1. Neon Sign With a Nostalgic Icon

Is your logo related to an object that existed in the past? Perhaps an arcade cabinet, an old phone model, a hand-knit sweater, or a CD.

In that case, you can carve your logo into a neon sign to maximize your use of retro marketing materials. Because of the nostalgic design and vibrant colour scheme, this will certainly turn heads and create more footfall for your store.

2. Neon Sign With a Nostalgic Quote

Showcase your inner cinephile or melophile with a quote neon sign! Do you have any favourite iconic lines from past TV shows, movies, or songs?

If they resonate with your brand’s message, get them into a gleaming neon sign. Passersby will surely notice it and may even enter solely because of the quote!

3. Pop Some Retro Colours With Neon Lights

Colours psychologically impact people, so you should take advantage of them when marketing your business.

First, look for colours that make people think of a particular scene, picture, or memory. These could be mustard yellow, sepia, mint green, red and white, or mid-century colour palettes. Then, use them for your neon sign to inject the vintage effect into your brand.

4. Retro Diner Themes With Neon Signs

If you’re running a diner, restaurant, or bar, you can take your customers back in time with a retro-packed setting!

Most vintage-themed food and drink establishments have common elements, such as black and white tiles, red and white striped chairs, and retro neon signs. So remember to incorporate a neon sign into your business interior to complete the vintage effect.

5. Vintage Artwork With Neon Wall Art

Do you sell artistic products or have an interest in artistic design? If so, you can make interior and exterior neon art using neon signs!

This is an excellent way to showcase your creativity while remaining on-brand. Try combining quotes and symbols, or send your own designs and have them personalized into neon lights. Few people can walk away from stunning wall art!

6. Old-School Fonts on Neon Signs

Another way to create nostalgic marketing campaigns is by using old-school fonts on neon signs. This gives people a sense of familiarity, which makes them interested in or more likely to purchase from you.

Stay true to your vintage colour with fonts like Cooper, Baskerville, Pacifica, Old Standard, Vintage Dreams, or Helvetica.

7. Holiday Decorations With Neon Signs

Holidays are profitable occasions for businesses, and customers are willing to pay more for special experiences. So take advantage of them and create holiday neon signs to decorate your commercial space!

Get a mistletoe or Santa Claus symbol or a New year, new beginnings quote for the year-end. People won’t miss the limited opportunity to take a holiday selfie!

8. Nostalgic-Themed Products Advertised by Neon Signs

Aside from decoration, you can also use a neon sign for advertising a nostalgic-themed product. This is a great way to accent what you sell and attract people looking for such items.

For example, you can place a neon sign outside your shop that says “Vintage Toys” or wedding neon signs for retro motifs.

9. Introduce a Retro Brand Mascot With a Vibrant Neon Sign

Creating a vintage-themed, feel-good character to represent your brand boosts profit and emotional connection. And when crafting one, place it on a vibrant neon sign! That way, your brand will be more noticeable and memorable.

That said, your business may or may not need a mascot, depending on some factors (e.g., product type and audience).

10. Show Off Your Town’s Heritage With Neon Signs

Dive deeper into your vintage roots with brand heritage. If you want to commemorate years of service or highlight your town’s classics, incorporate them on personalized neon signs!

Choose from historical landmarks, classic cuisine, or iconic city imagery. This will help you connect and build trust with tourists while making your fellow locals proud of your heritage.

Quick Maintenance Tips for Neon Signs

Quick Maintenance Tips for Neon Signs

Assuming you will use neon signs for your retro-themed marketing, it’s vital to know how to maintain them. Here are some quick maintenance tips to make the most of your neon sign investment.

Cleaning Tools to Use

There are various tools you can use to clean neon signs. These could be dry cloths, feather dusters, small brushes, or vacuum cleaners.

You may also apply detergents for stubborn stains, but ensure they’re free from toxic chemicals like ammonia.

Proper Cleaning

Remember to unplug the neon sign before you start cleaning! Dust it first to get rid of the loose dirt before moving on to thorough cleaning to eliminate stubborn stains.

Then, apply the detergent sparingly to the towel or cloth before rubbing it on the neon sign. Finally, rinse the cleaned areas with warm water and use a soft, clean cloth to dry them.


It is also essential to keep your neon lights in safe locations to prevent damage and accidents. Store them in areas where they’re inaccessible to pets and children.

Additionally, they must be high enough that nobody accidentally bumps into them.

Is Retro Marketing Still Effective Today?

As you might have already noticed, the neon sign throwback trend is back in a big way!

Everywhere you look, homes and businesses are sporting colourful, retro-inspired signage to seek comfort in nostalgia. So this is an awesome opportunity to incorporate vintage marketing into your brand!

Retro marketing is still effective today, but only if you consider important factors and do it correctly. Most importantly, avoid getting caught up with the trend. Instead, ensure all your efforts align with the brand and convey the message properly.

Create an eye-catching visual that takes customers back in time, and stands out from the rest!

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