A 50 year old doll, a trip down memory lane and a shared bond with my children…


When I was little my dad traveled about six to eight months of the year out of the country. Every time he returned he would come with the gift of a doll. As a result I had dolls from all over the world.

When I was about seven he went to Japan for six months. I guess because it was such a long time away, he went all out on this doll–a little parental guilt, maybe? This was no ordinary doll. He told me her face and hands are ivory and she is dressed like a geisha and housed in a glass case. She was unlike any doll I had in my collection. And as a result, she was not one of the many dolls I played with as a girl, but sat on a shelf like a prized treasure. When I decided I was too old for dolls, she was relocated to a closet.

Yesterday I dug her out of a closet.

I then went online to find out more about her and to see what she might be worth. First page up was a site called JCollector with an email address. I sent photos and now eagerly wait a response from them. When I told my daughter the story behind the doll, she immediately said we should keep her. She is part of a collection of dolls I have saved for years to hand down to my daughter. When she was old enough to understand, I told her they were hers to hand down to her future daughter. Those dolls are a little piece of who I am. And if she keeps them, they will become stories she will hand down.

So what does this have to do with marketing to moms? Moms relate to nostalgia. It’s about connecting generations through stories. It’s about handing down something to our children. It’s the reason my daughter wanted to keep her. We are in fact the Chief Memory Officers of our families.

And what fuels social? Passions. Experiences: like first toys, first dates, first words. Things like cars we’ve owned, places we lived. And of the people we care are about. One person’s nostalgic story brings up memories of our own. It gives us a sense of belonging. It connects us. And shared bonds are at the very heart of what makes social so powerful.

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