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Stranger Things is basically Nostalgia: The Show, so it makes sense that it would traffic in all things throwback. That’s why Netflix teaming up with Coke in order to bring back “New Coke” is no surprise.
It’s been Netflix’s policy not to introduce a reliance on ads to its dominant streaming service, according to the New York Times, but that doesn’t mean that sponsored content can’t run rampant over Hawkins, Indiana. In fact, a new mini-teaser/soda commercial goes fully retro and fully corporate, hawking Hawkins’ finest new pop — while laying the groundwork for a terrible mall disaster.
Take a look:
That’s almost a complete remake of an original commercial, too. Yes, the 1985 New Coke disaster looks to accompany some supernatural disaster in the third season of Stranger Things. Really, Coke is going to sell New Coke again in a limited run. Yes, really — it's coming back.
In fact, New Coke is just one of 75 companies and brands that Netflix is partnering up with on Stranger Things. That’s a lot of product placement. At some point, it might be nicer to see commercials. But New Coke is at least an amusing and ‘80s-centric tie-in for the series that cribs so heavily from that decade’s films that it might as well be sponsored content for the ‘80s themselves.
“New Coke was always going to play a role this season,” the Duffer Brothers said. “It was one of the first ideas in our Season 3 brainstorm. It was the summer of ’85, and when you talk about pop culture moments, New Coke was a really big deal. It would have been more bizarre to not include it.”
This likens the action to E.T.’s use of Reese’s Pieces, since most of Stranger Things takes from E.T. anyways, and the first season’s use of Kellogg’s Eggo waffles as a running joke for Eleven.
Stranger Things is both old and new (like New Coke) when its third season debuts on July 4.