Food & Beverage

Coca-Cola and 'Stranger Things' think we can get nostalgic for a lot of things, even New Coke

Key Points
  • Coca-Cola is partnering with Netflix to promote the third season of "Stranger Things" by re-releasing New Coke.
  • Coca-Cola launched its new formula in 1985, the same year that season three of "Stranger Things" is set.
  • New Coke is remembered as the beverage giant's biggest misstep and a marketing failure.
New Coke makes comeback with help from Netflix's 'Stranger Things'
New Coke comeback in 'Stranger Things'

New Coke is one of those product flops that often is used as a case study on marketing failures, but Coca-Cola is hoping to turn that around in a cross-promotion with Netflix's hit show "Stranger Things."

The third season, which starts streaming on July 4, will take place in 1985 — the same year that the beverage giant launched the new formula of its flagship soda.

Many will recall that the reaction to New Coke was not what the company anticipated. Consumers revolted. They hoarded cans of the classic formulation, and thousands called for the company to rethink its decision. Just 79 days later, the classic formula was back.

This time, Coke hopes consumers will stock up on cans of New Coke for the nostalgia of it all.

As part of the promotion, the creators and showrunners of "Stranger Things," brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, also directed an ad that features the show's characters enjoying New Coke at a movie theater.

In order to buy New Coke, shoppers will have to purchase at least two limited-edition "Stranger Things" Cokes or Coke Zero Sugar in 8-ounce bottles. A "Stranger Things"-inspired vending machine that dispenses New Coke will also pop up in select cities this summer, kicking off Thursday in New York.

This isn't the first time Coke has brought back New Coke. In the 1990s, the company rebranded New Coke as Coke II and continued to sell the drink until 2002.

Coca Cola billboard for the short-lived New Coke.
Todd Gipstein | Corbis Historical | Getty Images