May 21, 2019
The Coca-Cola Co. will revive its much-maligned New Coke drink this summer as part of a marketing deal with Netflix for the streamer’s season-three launch of “Stranger Things.”
The third season of the fantasy series is set in 1985, the same year Coke launched New Coke in an effort to jumpstart lagging soft drink sales. The rebooted drink was widely panned by consumers and fans of original Coke.
The Atlanta-based bottler withdrew New Coke from the market 79 days after its debut.
In addition to cans of New Coke appearing throughout the show, Coke will market “Stranger Things” glass bottles on its website, in addition to placing “Stranger Things” adorned vending machines and logos on cans of regular Coke products in select cities.
“The summer of 1985 was a big moment for us and bringing back New Coke in a limited way will generate buzz and conversation,” Stuart Kronauge, president of Coke’s business unit in North America, told Bloomberg. “That’s good for us, and it’s good for ‘Stranger Things.’”
While Netflix refuses to run ads on the platform that includes nearly 62 million subscribers in the United States, previous “Stranger Things” seasons included product placements for Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway and Coke.
Hasbro markets a “Stranger Things” edition of the Monopoly board game and retailer Hot Topic sells “Stranger Things” T-shirts and sweatshirts.
“It’s a new space for us,” said Barry Smyth, Netflix’s head of global partner marketing. “We are not doing it for revenue. We are doing it to create good experiences for members, to the extent the creative expression of a show can be supported by working with a brand.”