How Netflix turned marketing upside down for the return of Stranger Things
Stranger Things is one of Netflix’s most marketable original shows, so it comes as no surprise that its impending return for season two birthed a slew of unique partnerships with brand partners.
One thing that is very apparent that much like its predecessor, season two will be highly referential to the works that inspired it. This is most notable with the crew of kids shown wearing Ghostbusters outfits, reaping the seeds of 80s nostalgia that helped bring it to prominence in the first place.
Nowhere is the success of the show more noticeable than on social media. It is worth noting that during the extensive Super Bowl ad window, the show walked away with more mentions than anything else it was up against.
This popularity can of course be leveraged when it comes to getting brands aboard. Below are some of the most interesting activations around the brand from Netflix.
It was the 80s. Reebok and Ghostbusters were at the height of their powers. To commemorate this, the brands have grouped together to deliver a special trainer that ties into the show.
The 1984 Reebok Ex-O-Fit Hi Clean sneaks are worn in the show by Dustin and assumedly, many more, following their exclusive launch.
.@Reebok and @BaitMeCom’s new #StrangerThings × #Ghostbusters sneakers are nerd-tastic! https://t.co/XDq8Y4C90y pic.twitter.com/CDVeBJkSc0
— Digital Trends (@DigitalTrends) October 25, 2017
High street clothing retailer Topshop refurbished its London Oxford Street flagship in honour of the show and the beloved Barb. It knows its audience likes its Netflix and Chill and has jumped aboard the timely event to generate some buzz in its HQ.
Have you paid tribute to Barb yet? Visit her shrine at our Oxford St. store till 31st Oct #JusticeForBarb @NetflixUK https://t.co/uy5jvUz674 pic.twitter.com/CZ9XcWudHR — Topshop (@Topshop) October 26, 2017
Visit our Oxford St. store before Oct 31st to get properly kitted out to watch Stranger Things 2 on @NetflixUK https://t.co/ly1YSKC3LF pic.twitter.com/MIcN50nB1U — Topshop (@Topshop) October 25, 2017
Naturally, tying the bombastic activation together is a Stranger Things product line that some parties on Twitter are accusing the retailer of immediately selling out of.
We'll have this tee alongside Eleven's Waffle Bar while we wait for Stranger Things 2 @NetflixUK https://t.co/kPNky83QbB pic.twitter.com/FfCoA1ho3B
— Topshop (@Topshop) October 25, 2017
Topshop probably should have anticipated the popularity of the goods ever since similar garb was debuted during a Louis Vuitton show.
Music streaming website Spotify is matching users to the Stranger Things characters they most have a psychological affinity with. It has devised the tastes of 13 lead characters to collate which users have the same musical tastes in a digital experience which will bring fans to the dreaded upside down world. Expect lots of 80s synth in this activation. Check it out here.
It wouldn’t be Halloween without brands pranking and scaring unsuspecting members of the public.
Lyft gave a surprise to riders in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Some rigged up cars to give fans real goosebumps, in a ride, the company may have been trying to replicate, what they would say, is your average Uber journey.
Like Reeces Pieces had its day in ET, no nostalgia fest is complete without an obligatory product placement that brings out the inner-child in viewers.
As such, Eggo is in, Eleven is apparently obsessed with the waffles. No doubt, many viewers will too develop a craving for them.
The Eggo waffle truck was just spotted in Hawkins. Can you guess where we’re heading next? #StrangerThings pic.twitter.com/3ZbSB73hX4 — Eggo® (@eggo) October 25, 2017
To this end, Kellogg's, also shared recipes inspired by the show.
You'll love these Eggo recipes. Trust us. Friends don’t lie. Get the recipes: https://t.co/yVrTY8LiTP and watch #StrangerThings on Netflix. pic.twitter.com/iOaiqUDFXr — Eggo® (@eggo) October 25, 2017
Transport for London
There was an interesting takeover of the TfL. Much like Topshop, the activity honed in on Oxford Circus.
Strange things are happening at Oxford Circus station #StrangerThings @NetflixUK @ExterionMediaUK #HelloLondon pic.twitter.com/OWHbODNb4D — Transport for London (@TfL) October 24, 2017
To many Barb was a fan favourite in season one, she is to host a Netflix-binge of the show, and PlayStation is offering attendance as a prize.
Follow & RT for the chance to win 2 tickets to a @NetflixUK #StrangerThings binge (hosted by Barb!) on Friday. T&Cs: https://t.co/XogHx5MgAC pic.twitter.com/V1cv7FQLRF — PlayStation UK (@PlayStationUK) October 24, 2017
A waffle bar set up shop in Camden market, playing into the Eggo partnership.
There is a #StrangerThings waffle bar in Camden Market today. Handily, this is around the corner from Empire HQ. We've filled our boots. pic.twitter.com/FkxwmOUmRW — Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) October 26, 2017
Netflix dished out what may have been the most chill cease and desist letter ever issued to a Chicago bar that adopted a unique Stranger Things theme. At the very least, it showed that there was high demand for Netflix IPs in the experiential realm.
There was a unique out of home activation from Doner LA, that gave pride of place to fictional Stranger Things company Hawkins. There was even a real number to call, that doles out an unsettling message.
Further to this, the agency flooded the streets of New York with paranormal pedicab-driving Dustin's to get locals from point A to B in style. Furthermore, the bicycling gang were also attached to a billboard in the Big Apple.
.@Stranger_Things billboard in NYC pic.twitter.com/PchtxNUuRT — Adam Jay (@itsAdam) October 11, 2017
Further reading could include how Netflix's marketing made a homage to classic posters. The show really does wear its influences on its sleeve.
Or see The Drum's favourite campaign's over on our Facebook page.