Modern Marketing Brand Strategy

Coca-Cola and Lacoste derive most value from Stranger Things product placements

By John Glenday | Reporter

July 1, 2022 | 4 min read

Data and analytics specialist YouGov Stream has been busy binge-watching season four of Netflix’s Stranger Things – not for its supernatural 1980s-themed mysteries, but for the multitude of brand placements bursting from the screen.

It has found that Coca-Cola has leveraged the greatest value from its screen time so far, with the drinks brand netting the equivalent of $1.83m from its exposure – more than any other brand.

This was fractionally ahead of French fashion brand Lacoste, which netted $1.8m of exposure over the first 28 days of viewership between the US and UK, despite appearing in just one episode when Jason Carver (portrayed by Mason Dye) donned its trademark white polo shirt.

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola and Lacoste lead the brand placement pack on Stranger Things

Other brands to muscle in on the small-town Indiana action include Jif Peanut Butter ($879,000 of placement value), which was a key plot device when Joyce Byers smashed a jar to free herself from captivity, and footwear brand Reebok ($1.42m of exposure), which has helped the main characters run away from danger.

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Coca-Cola is the most invested brand in the Stranger Things universe, making four-times the value of arch-rival Pepsi ($438,000).

Dominic Prince, associate director of product at YouGov, said: “Coke, as reportedly the largest buyers of product placement in Stranger Things, unsurprisingly top our leader board for Net Placement Value from Season 4 Vol.1 of the show. Lacoste will also be very happy with surprisingly strong value driven by its polo shirt, which featured in episode 2, while brands like Reebok and Jif also top our category leader boards with some well-executed placements.

“Important to note is that the figures presented here are value that has accrued already from these two key markets. The audiences will only grow, and these values are set to grow with them. Our total valuation of the product placements in the first seven episodes of Season 4 so far is $13.7m across the UK and US. Factoring in global audiences, the release of the last two episodes and the lifetime viewership of the season, Netflix is set to deliver many millions more in marketing value for the brands it works with.”

The story of the season so far has been the surprise rediscovery of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, which is topping the charts once more and netting Sony $635,000 in placement value for its Walkman cassette player in the process.

Netflix has itself been advertising period brands featured in the show as part of an elaborate experiential stunt.

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