Blast from the past: How to inject ‘good old times’ to your marketing campaigns with classic retro promotional gifts


In this fascinating modern age we live in, we are constantly witnessing the rise of modern science and technology which makes our lives easier, in so many ways. Through all of this — when everything is moving at such a fast pace — it is also a moment when our heartstrings seem to tug us back to the good old days: where everything seems simpler, in so many ways, too.

Whether it’s the rock-n-roll ‘50s and ‘60s, or the Rubik’s cube craze and iconic walkman in the ‘80s, retro styles and trends just have a funny way of coming back in an endless cycle. It seems that every five or ten years, our parents (or even we) will be caught smiling at some of the ‘blast from the past’ retro items making a comeback at the shopping malls or supermarkets. It could be yet another household item, like a set of salt-n-pepper shakers that carries the design from circa 1960s. Or, a vinyl-inspired decor item for the living room, before you stumble upon some vintage children’s playing board games down the Kid’s section. 

In this article, we will be sharing about on how you can:-

  • Channel the vintage vibe with retro promotional gift ideas

  • Design your ultimate retro themed promotional gift ideas with DTC World

To start, let’s dive into these nostalgic vintage, retro promotional gift ideas and inspirations that bring back the good ol’ childhood memories. This is the time to take your customers down memory lane — connecting with them through evoking feelings of nostalgia. As you tap into the emotional bonds, you are also enhancing your brand visibility — everything everywhere all at once! (Oh yesss, Michelle Yeoh for the historical #Oscar win!)

Retro promotional gift ideas to channel the vintage vibe

On a cold day, nostalgia marketing is the equivalent of your favourite hot soup in a steaming mug. In our modern lifestyle, where everything must be click-able, binge-able, bigger and quicker than ever before — nostalgic retro items somehow transport us to a simpler era, when simple pleasures make everything feel remarkably okay.

Below are the different takes on how marketers incorporate the retro and vintage vibes into their promotional gifts, to engage customers in various marketing campaigns. We’ve cherry picked some of our favourites:-

  1. The Retro Deck – Playing Cards

  2. Pac-Man Playing Cards

  3. Retro Board Games

  4. Classic Jenga Blocks

  5. Retro Five Stones Game

  6. Retro Tote Bag, Cooler Lunch Bag

  7. Vintage Lunar Calendar-inspired Gifts

  8. Retro ‘Good Citizen’ Sling Bag

  9. Retro Vinyl — For the Record Lovers

  10. Vintage Silver Gin Swizzle Stick

  11. Vintage Golf Headcovers

  12. Cassette Tape Power Bank

  13. Traditional Food-Themed Cushion

  14. Retro White Rabbit Candy Inspired Merchandise

The Retro Deck – Playing Cards

Image credit: Party Wholesale, Singapore

Why is it a retro-hip: There’s a reason why playing cards are still considered one of the most entertaining ways to pass time. Laughter, excitement, competing and the desire to win — and you get to experience all of this through that deck of cards. (We suppose these cards do come in handy during the pandemic lockdown.) Regardless of the situation, a deck of retro playing cards is indeed a thoughtful gift to keep your brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds.

Pac-Man Playing Cards


Image credit: Party Wholesale, Retroactives

Why is it a retro-hip: Ah, PAC-MAN. The iconic yellow character who loves to eat dots and avoid ghosts. With this easy-carry playing deck, you could recreate the retro arcade energy (and maze-chasing fun!) at home, cocktail parties or gatherings, or at picnics! The exquisite storage tin adds an even more exclusivity to these high quality playing cards which makes a great event giveaway.

Retro Board Games

Image credit: TheSmartLocal

Why is it a retro-hip: Fun and thought-provoking, board games never get boring, regardless what your age number is. A product that holds high utility value, retro board games can be just as unique, yet, sentimental all the same time, during the fun-while-bonding game sessions. The fun essence and bonding capability of this promotional gift can be used to your advantage to promote your brand brilliantly.

Classic Jenga Blocks

Image credit: Kijiji, Canada

Why is it a retro-hip: Add a personalised touch to this family favourite tumbling blocks — and bring more visibility to your brand during the times of suspense, excitement and laughter! So, whether you're a masterful architect, block jock or distractor actor — pull, stack and crash 'til your heart's content with this retro promotional gift that’s perfect for just everyone!

Retro Five Stones Game

Image credit: Little Day Out

Why is it a retro-hip: Similar to Jack of Games, or knucklebones, the five stones game is an interactive game and popular traditional game among children and adults. A game that involves hand-eye coordination, practises concentration and fine motor skills — it is a great practice for children. Not only that, it is also a fidget toy bean bag that provides sensory experience to keep all hands busy and promote calm for the little ones. Looking for a unique, yet relatively useful children’s promotional gift that promotes movement activities? Here’s one to consider.

Retro Tote Bag 


Image credit: Alibaba

Why is it a retro-hip: The iconic red-white-blue bag that’s sure to catch one’s attention from afar. A nostalgic symbol of Hong Kong back in the 50s and 60s, this ever-so-popular canvas tote has been reinvented to various shapes and sizes which are still superior in practicality — or as a fashion trend, even. 

To add a little twist to the retro tote, make it a carrier to store your thermal lunch bag. Get creative by injecting the 90s seamless patterns into the design of the red-white-blue bag, and you will surely impress your customers with this nostalgic promotional tote!

Image credit: Alibaba

Vintage Lunar Calendar-inspired Gifts


Image credit: Olivia Lee

Why is it a retro-hip: This National Day line of merchandise to commemorate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee celebration is indeed nostalgic-evoking. Drawing inspiration from the vintage lunar calendar, designer Olivia Lee has brilliantly injected patterns and motifs which acknowledge the significance of numerology and auspicious beliefs encoded in Singaporean culture and history. As simple as they are, the tote bag and ceramic plate bring along an opulence of sentimental elements from the good old days. A perfect promotional gift idea for commemorative events giveaway or limited-time only redemption campaign.

Retro ‘Good Citizen’ Sling Bag


Image credit: wheniwasfour

Why is it a retro-hip: From the fonts to the colours, doesn’t this retro sling bag bring you back to the circa 80s – 90s? Not only is the bag filled with a flavourful retro vibe, one can’t deny its fashion statement which will surely make heads turn! Perfect as an exclusive limited-time only promotional gift, we believe this trendy sling bag will add more ‘huat!’ to your brand visibility, too!

Retro Vinyl — For the Record Lovers


Image credit: Trend Hunter


Image credit: Vinylux

Why is it a retro-hip: Rejoice, record enthusiasts! These vinyl record inspiration product ideas will make listening to music more fun and retro, it is. From the look and design to the functionality, they make perfect gifts for the festivities and holidays. From vinyl coasters, to vinyl mugs and vinyl bookends, every one of them is ideal as a corporate gift, or promotional gift during corporate events and parties.

Vintage Silver Gin Swizzle Stick


Image credit: eBay

Why is it a retro-hip: Add a nostalgic vibe to your beverage with this elegant vintage silver gin stirrer. An exquisite promotional gift which allows personalised alphabet stamping (names, text) on the swizzle stick, it is certainly a must-have for any gin lovers out there.

Vintage Golf Headcovers


Image credit: Golf Store Outlet

Why is it a retro-hip: A less-is-more vintage gift idea that is perfect as a corporate or event gift to impress your clients. The ample space on the headcover allows for personalisation, where you can incorporate your company logo or texts (initials). The options are limitless. With a traditional styling and a form fitting design, this set of headcovers will look great in all players’ bags.

Cassette Tape Power Bank

Image credit: Gadgetsin

Why is it a retro-hip: Inspired by the retro cassette tape, this power bank is an iconic silhouette that you will want to carry with you everywhere you go. A portable charger with an old-school charm, this retro-style portable charger features a stylish cassette design that will certainly get people talking about it, for as long as it takes. A wonderful promotional gift idea that sure looks cool for any event, campaign, or even corporate gifting and employee swag.

Traditional Food-Themed Cushion


Image credit: Vulcan Post, World of Buzz

Why is it a retro-hip: This series of food-themed huggable cushions, nice-to-touch pouches and keychains are definitely one of our faves! Imagine snuggling into an upsized curry puff, pineapple tart or ang ku kueh cushion that sits on your couch. The inspirations clearly did not end there. From a variety of food items to choose from, one can surely add more flavours into their home decor with these snuggly, comfort (food) cushions. As symbolic and nostalgic as they are, these food-themed cushions are perfect promotional gifts for events and campaigns to ‘wow’ your customers.


Image credit: World of Buzz, Klosh

Wait, there’s more! Check out the above food-shaped keychains and mini coin pouches (puff and tarts) to carry with you anywhere you go. (While you’re here, do check out some of the interesting gift inspirations to store those coins in place!)

Retro White Rabbit Candy Inspired Merchandise


Image credit:, Shopee

Why is it a retro-hip: Who’s going to say no to a white rabbit candy, right? With various merchandise that see the popular white rabbit candy taking centre stage — ranging from promotional tote, to slushy pillows and cushions, to umbrellas and enamel mugs — these gift ideas certainly echo what it means to move from nostalgic sweet goodness to iconic retro!


Bring back old memories with retro themed promotional gift ideas by DTC World

At DTC World, we believe the more personalised the gift is, the more exclusive it gets, the stronger the brand loyalty. Here, we are dedicated to thinking in the best interest of your brand and business — that's why we made it our mission to find the best suited gift ideas to complement your marketing efforts.

And speaking of retro promotional gifts, here's what we have in store for you!

  1. Nostalgic Thermal Flask with Handle

  2. Retro Disco Ball Tumbler

  3. Vintage Enamel Tiffin Carrier

  4. Vintage Chinese Rooster Ceramic Bowl Set

  5. Vintage Mugs

  6. Retro Coasters

  7. Retro Music Blast: Vintage Bluetooth Speakers

Nostalgic Thermal Flask with Handle

Why is it a retro-hip: Carry this portable thermal flask in a retro style. Minimalistic in design (a stylish blend of the legendary Stanley bottle and antique oil lamp) that brings back memories from the good ol’ days, its large printing area allows personalisation — definitely good-looking during events or marketing campaigns.

Perfect for: Event giveaway, promotional campaign gift,  gift redemption, employee swag, conference swag, trade exhibition

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Retro Disco Ball Tumbler

Why is it a retro-hip: Cute and perfect for a disco-themed event, surely! A drinking tumbler to add more fun and retro vibes to a cocktail party, social gathering, etc. — this item also makes a memorable gift idea for your guests. One that will surely stick in their mind, for a very long time.

Perfect for: Cocktail party, event giveaway, promotional campaign gift, employee swag

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Vintage Enamel Tiffin Carrier


Why is it a retro-hip: A handy tiered tiffin carrier is making a comeback for many reasons. One, it’s handy. Secondly, check out those fancy and artistic designs you can get creative with on the tiffin’s exterior! What’s more, it is definitely a good sustainable and eco-friendly habit to inject into your lifestyle. Help reduce waste by eliminating the use of disposable food packaging — it’s a perfect gift idea for any brand to echo its sustainability message to engage their targeted audience.

Perfect for: Event giveaway, promotional campaign gift, gift redemption 

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Vintage Chinese Rooster Ceramic Bowl Set

Why is it a retro-hip: Don’t these 1960s ceramic bowls bring you flashbacks of some Hong Kong or Chinese movie scenes? Whether it’s for dessert, noodles or rice, this iconic vintage rooster bowl is a sure win to evoke fond memories of delicious food from the past!

Perfect for: Event giveaway, promotional campaign gift, gift redemption 

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Vintage Mugs

Why is it a retro-hip: These retro-styled enamel and ceramic mugs are perfect for the vintage styled aesthetics. Available in vibrant, striking colour mixes for the audacious and bold, or a pastel selection for the conventional ones. They're durable and lightweight, making them great for serving drinks or soup while you're camping or travelling or at home or the office. Even as a decorative display, they will add an eye-catching retro sight to the overall decor.

Perfect for: Event giveaway, promotional campaign gift, gift redemption, employee swag, conference swag, trade exhibition

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Retro Floppy Disk Coasters

Why is it a retro-hip: Made from food safe silicone materials, this heat-proof coaster protects your valuable table surface from any spills, scratches, moisture and condensation. Simple yet functional and interesting, this classic vintage design is the perfect novelty gift idea to use as home decor, spoon rest, barware set, bar service mat, or table pad. Now, this will surely leave behind a high-quality and stylish impression to your guests!

Perfect for: Event giveaway, promotional campaign gift, employee swag, conference swag, trade exhibition

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Retro Blast: Vintage Bluetooth Speakers



Why is it a retro-hip: This vintage-inspired radio speaker can be a perfect decoration or artwork when you place it on a desk and shelf, or anywhere you want. Its stylish and old-school style is further complemented with a pastel shade on its exterior, giving your music listening experience a retro blast indeed!

Perfect for: Event giveaway, promotional campaign gift, employee swag, conference swag, trade exhibition

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Looking for a fulfilment partner to help you sort out product sourcing, designing, production and logistics for your campaigns or events?

One of our Showcase projects, which we helped materialising Unilever Asia’s gift pack for its virtual Dinner and Dance 2021. To fulfil the theme for the event, “Around the World/Game Show”, our team has brainstormed a series of retro, traditional gift ideas to complement the gift set. All in all, we have sourced for various retro games, playing cards, alongwith popular childhood snacks from yester-year. 

To make sure this virtual event is a success for the organiser, DTC World has in advance delivered more than 700 gift sets to the homes of Unilever’s employees — just in time for every participant to enjoy the down memory lane “Ultimate Game Show”-themed D&D.

If you want to add more creative elements to your promotional or campaign gifts — but wish to remove the hassle and headache of fulfilment and logistics — speak to us today to find out how to do it the cool way.


Closing Thoughts

What makes a good promotional gift product? We believe it all boils down to the design impact, functionality, representation, cost-effectiveness — as well as, material quality and product durability. Whether it’s a retro bluetooth speaker, or a multi-functional insulated lunch bag camouflaged as a fashionable vintage sling tote — we understand you are constantly looking for something distinctive, one-of-a-kind to enhance your brand visibility and ultimately, elevate your sales volume.

If you’d love to explore any one of the retro promotional gift ideas we have shared in this article, just put our team to work — and our product and gift experts are more than happy to fill you in. Let us walk you through on how you can inject fresh-looking designs while keeping the vintage vibe alive in your next retro gifts — for that ultimate appreciation gesture to reward your loyal patrons.

More promotional gift ideas to boost your marketing campaigns:

Your Ultimate Guide to a Winning Promotional Cooler Bag That’s Too Cool for Any Marketing Campaign

Relationship Marketing: Gift With Purchase Ideas to Connect With Your Customers

10 Best Cosmetic Pouches for Promotional Items and Gifts

Unique promotional umbrellas: Amazing marketing gift idea for your business