- Baskin-Robbins teamed up with Netflix to promote the third season of the popular 1980s-inspired science fiction series "Stranger Things." In advance of the show's season premiere on July 4, the Dunkin' Brands Group's ice cream chain will feature flavors of the month inspired by the show, the company revealed in a press release.
- As part of the effort, the ice cream brand and streaming service are creating a real-life version of the Scoops Ahoy Ice Cream parlor, a setting from the series. This adapted ice cream truck will serve treats to fans on the West Coast in June. Baskin-Robbins has also partnered with DoorDash to offer delivery for online orders.
- Baskin-Robbins will also feature bonus menu items like a waffle bowl sundae that looks like the show's Demogorgon monster as well as an Elevenade Freeze, a nod to the series' heroine. The QSR will also distribute "Stranger Things" collectible containers, a Funko figure, magnets, stickers and T-shirts.
With its themed flavors, merchandise and ice cream truck, Baskin-Robbins is the latest brand to partner with Netflix for a "Stranger Things" tie-up. The ice cream truck, inspired by a setting in the series that was teased in a video last summer, moves the partnership beyond branded material into an experiential activation, a marketing tactic that's proven to boost engagement and purchases with millennials.
The 1980s nostalgia that drives much of "Stranger Things" makes it ripe for brand partnerships and product tie-ins, as has been the case in earlier seasons of the series. Kellogg's iconic Eggo waffles were featured in the first season of the series without a brand partnership, but the company quickly jumped on the show's popularity with its social media efforts, helping to drive sales. Since then, the series has utilized product placement, like the bucket of KFC that was overtly featured last season.
That trend is set to continue this year, as Coca-Cola revealed plans to bring back New Coke, the infamous reformulation of its signature soft drink that debuted in 1985 and was shelved a mere 79 days later, as part of a tie-in with the show. The product will be featured in some third season episodes, and Coke will sell 500,000 cans of the revamped drink through a dedicated website.
Netflix has also partnered with Lyft, Sony Pictures and Reebok, and bike company Schwinn, which promoted a new bicycle through the show and generated more than 127 million media impressions — 4 million of which were on social.
Original Netflix shows like "Stranger Things" have taken viewers by storm, and brands have an opportunity to get in front of these audiences in organic ways. The first episode of the second season of "Stranger Things" was viewed by more than 15 million viewers in its first three days on Netflix, according to Nielsen. The research also revealed that each episode of the season counted more than 4 million viewers per episode, and 3 million of this group were 18-49 year olds. These sought-after viewers are often cord cutters that don't see traditional TV ads but represent billions in spending power.