New Coke is returning to store shelves this summer in anticipation of Netflix launching Stranger Things season 3 over 4th of July weekend. The Coca-Cola Company made the announcement on their official Twitter earlier today. The news comes along with a commercial for New Coke that features footage from the upcoming episodes, teasing the big war heading towards Starcourt Mall, which will involve all of our beloved Hawkins residents battling the supernatural yet again.
The New Coke commercial is drenched in 80s nostalgia, set to a poppy song about first love and summer kisses. We get to see Max and Lucas having fun at the vending machine, while Mike and Eleven make out in his bedroom. We then head to the cineplex in the Starcourt Mall, where Steve has changed out of his Ahoy Ice Cream sailor's uniform. He's carrying New Coke and some popcorn, ready for his date with newcomer Stacy. Dustin is there to interrupt their night out, and complain about Steve being late. But things quickly turn Upside Down as the electricity goes out and something is obviously overtaking the mall.
Netflix and Coca-Cola have an exclusive partnership to bring New Coke back to stores this summer. Stranger Things season 3 picks up in 1985, the same year Coke decided they needed to make a drastic change to their formula in competing with Pepsi. This was a huge deal back in the 80s, and it's not just a bit of product placement. Anyone alive in 1985 will surely remember the great Cola Wars of that decade. So that was interwoven into the upcoming storyline.
The Duffer Brothers, who created Stranger Things, decided to approach Coca-Cola about a partnership in hopes that it will boost awareness for the series' return along with giving Coke a little kick. The formula for New Coke has only been collecting dust inside the vaults of the Coca-Cola company since the drink was pulled off shelves thirty years ago. Said Geoff Cottrill, senior vice president of strategic marketing for Coca-Cola North America, about the team-up.
"This is uncharted territory for us. We want to look for ways to work with Netflix, but only in ways that don't interrupt consumers, and don't get in the way of the entertainment. If we can find ways to integrate authentically and add value to the experience, then we want to be a part of it."
New Coke is considered one of the biggest blunders of the past forty years. Consumers of original Coke weren't down with the sweeter tasting soda, and the fanbase rebelled against the cola giant. Old Coke swiftly made its way back to store shelves after giving New Coke just 79 days to languish in the sun. And the outcry came at a time when there was no social media. Cottrill goes onto say this about bringing New Coke back to coincide with the 1985 storyline playing out in Stranger Things, with a partnership that will allow anyone who wasn't around back then to get a taste of what these beloved characters are experiencing for the first time.
"It's an opportunity for us to find an interesting way to be there."
Coca-Cola is also working closely with Netflix's streaming competitor Hulu, creating 'Pause Ads', which show up only when the viewer pauses their streaming content. Its not yet clear how consumers are taking to these 'Pause Ads' just yet.
Netflix and Coke have been working to bring New Coke back not only for the series but also for costumers who want to get a taste of their biggest mistake. Showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer actually had to do a lot of research to make sure the soft drink was incorporated into the story organically and properly.
There will be about 500,000 cans of New Coke launched across the US for the public to buy. You can purchase the cans online at CokeStore.com/1985. World of Coca-Cola will also be selling it the week of June 3 on select days. There will also be Original Coke cans featuring limited edition Stranger Things art. Coca-Cola is also taking this promotion to movie theaters this summer, where the Duffer Bros. have recreated an actual 1985 ad for New Coke, which they directed themselves.